Camryn Lloyd’s family is tipping him to “come out stronger than ever” after they were told he “wouldn’t make it through” the night of his cardiac arrest during the Gold Coast marathon.
And while the young husband and father lost a leg and is learning to walk and talk again, his sister Saffron van Reijsen is going on her own journey as she attempts to complete the final 10km of his race at next month’s Bridge to Brisbane.
“I was feeling a bit guilty just going about my daily life, knowing that my brother is struggling with this really, intensely hard time,” van Reijsen told 7NEWS.com.au.
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“I was thinking about something I could do that would help me mentally, but also show some sort of support.”
Lloyd collapsed at the 36km mark of the 42km race on July 2.
He was given CPR before being rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital, where he was placed in intensive care.
Camryn Lloyd collapsed during the Gold Coast marathon on July 2. Credit: Facebook
After two months in a coma, he has woken up and is undergoing intense rehabilitation, including physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Van Reijsen, who describes herself as “not a runner at all”, recalls the moment she told her brother who’s “just learning to speak again” that she was embarking on the running challenge.
“He just turned and looked a me and said, ‘You? … Wow’,” she said.
“(I said), ‘OK, so you can’t speak but you can still be sassy to me’.”
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Lloyd was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, whereby muscles become damaged from overuse and heat exhaustion, releasing their contents, such as potassium, and contaminating the bloodstream.
That caused his organs to fail, with the associated illnesses leading doctors to amputate his right leg.
Van Reijsen said Lloyd has “stayed so strong mentally” and is “smashing every goal” of his recovery.
Camryn Lloyd and his sister Saffron van Reijsen. Credit: Instagram
“He’s really having a lot of internal dialogue. He knows he needs to do this for his son, for his family, for himself,” she said.
“I am so in awe. He’s doing such a good job.
“He’s smashing every goal, from the first night when they said he wouldn’t make it through, he’s starting to form words.
“He’s definitely there mentally, he knows who everyone is, it’s just getting that cognition and putting everything he knows into practice.
“But I think he’ll come out stronger than ever.”
Lloyd’s network, including his family, friends and church, has rallied around him, Van Reijsen said.
Saffron van Reijsen is training for the Bridge to Brisbane. Credit: SuppliedSaffron van Reijsen is attempting to run 10km in honour of her brother. Credit: TikTok
Brisbane-based members of his extended family stayed at various places on the Gold Coast during the first month of his ordeal to be close to the hospital, while his pastor has been “checking in every day” on him and his wife and son.
“It’s honestly been crazy. Cam is such an extrovert and he loves people. He will get chatting to people so quickly,” Van Reijsen said.
“He’s that kind of personable person. He inspires a lot of people in his daily life.
“When people have been hearing about Cam’s condition, we’ve had support, money, places to live, prayers — all this support from people who Cam’s touched throughout his life.
“It’s been beneficial for us that Cam does have that support, but it’s been beneficial to his recovery.”
‘Under an hour’
Van Reijsen, who also has a young son, says her running challenge has been “definitely” healing.
While she’s built herself up to be able to run 7km, she’s “optimistic” she’ll be ready to complete the 10km in Brisbane on October 15.
She has had an “influx of runners reaching out and sending me tips” and activewear brand LSKD has sent her running clothes.
“I feel like I have so much support to do this, I feel like I can’t not do it,” she said.
“Hopefully race day vibes will get me over the line.
“Under an hour, that’s the plan.”
An Instagram named Cam’s Next Run has been set up to support Van Reijsen, while a GoFundMe for Lloyd’s family has raised more than $27,000.
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