Kemit-Amon Lewis continues to inspire all of us with his determined spirit. There have been many small successes as well as the days when spirits are low. We applaud his fight on this road to recovery and look forward to sharing this journey with him every step of the way.
Please take a moment to read his story. We hope this in turn inspires you to support not only him, but others like him, with similar stories, who cultivate futures, celebrate uniqueness and art and selflessly show love and appreciation to their respective communities.
Kemit did that, not only for our Crucian community but his efforts had a global impact. Many have asked us to expand what started as a grassroots effort by a small group of friends and family to include this platform to simplify access to giving.
Kemit-Amon Lewis is a “Native Son” (born in St. Croix, USVI) Marine Scientist. Dancer. Artist. Environmental Advocate. Son. And Parent to Kahlua (his beloved Brown Lab).
On July 26th, a week after suffering from groin pain initially attributed to a pulled muscle from dance class or tennis, Kemit was taken to the doctor with a fever and difficulty breathing. His vitals plummeted necessitating a trip to the ER where he was diagnosed with a bacterial infection, complicated by an existing gastrointestinal condition and in septic shock. His heart rate, blood pressure and other vitals continued to decline over the course of several hours.
With his organs failing, neither the source nor type of bacteria decimating his body could be identified. It was slowly attacking every vital organ; any chance of survival seemed unlikely and it was determined after several hours in consultation with medical staff that he had to be flown off Island to have a fighting chance. We are thankful for the care the St. Croix hospital team provided. They did the best they could with the resources available to treat Kemit.
Initially, three hospitals refused to accept him due to the severity of his condition and by divine intervention, he was finally accepted at the Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His condition was so critical we were advised should he code in flight he would die. We needed to come to terms with that, but thank God, he survived the trip.
All things aligning perfectly, his mom and brother were already in Fort Lauderdale. From day one, during his time at Broward Health, the nurses, doctors and support staff came to realize the miracle that he is. He remained in an induced coma and intubated for almost two weeks before finally being deemed stable enough to be awakened. He remained connected to the ECMO machine which filters his blood and takes the pressure off of his vital organs and on dialysis for an additional week. We are eternally grateful for the support staff of expertly trained doctors, nurses, and technicians who did not give up on Kemit.
Our hero Kemit has lost both feet and both hands to stymie further progression of gangrene, a side-effect of his illness and treatment. Amputation was the only course of treatment. Sadly, there is still more to come as his liver, kidneys, gallbladder and spleen have all been compromised. The extent of which is still unclear but he continues to surprise his medical team every day with his strength of mind. We know that this is as a result of the magnitude of his heart and generosity of spirit. Kemit has defied all odds and probabilities thus far but we know he has a long road ahead of him.
At his young age, Kemit lives his life equally devoting fierce efforts as a son, avid player and lover of tennis, diver, community and ocean advocate, mentor, dancer, scientist, brother, uncle and friend to many. A real- life extraordinary human being and hero who has a lot more to give even in this challenging position.
Amongst his most notable contributions to the universe, he made great strides for Turtle Conservation in St. Croix, was a pioneer in the field of coral restoration and has planted thousands of corals on Reefs around the world and shared techniques with the ocean communities of Australia, Cuba, Guam, China, the Solomon Islands, Bahamas and Grenada to name a few. He developed the Reef Responsible program educating chefs, fishermen, and the community in best practices for fishing and sustaining our ocean environment all while developing stunning choreography for his beloved Caribbean Dance Company contributing to the continued growth of the creative arts in the contemporary field. Kemit enjoys traveling to exotic locales and has just begun living his best life. He recently visited Egypt, Morocco, and Amsterdam, with so many more on his list.
Everyone has a KAL story. His spirit remains intact, still focusing on the well-being of his tribe, distracting us with his silly, persnickety ways. Forcing us to redirect our focus, and receive the many lessons intended for us in this part of his journey. The rest is still unwritten.
All funds raised will go towards costs associated with his recovery and medical expenses. Immediate needs relate to transportation, assistive devices, specialized care and physical therapy.
His mom, Joy and all of us, his tribe, sincerely thank you for your prayers, outreach, good thoughts, and generosity of spirit throughout this journey.