Linda Caicedo, the Colombian teen sensation, collapsed during a training session last night, raising serious concerns about her health.
The 18-year-old, who scored in her team’s opening victory over South Korea, has this season also scored at the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups.
Amazingly, all of this happened just six months after she overcame a two-year cancer struggle.
Caicedo’s World Cup debut was exciting, but it was overshadowed by her accident at Colombia’s training facility outside of Sydney.
She was dribbling the ball while jogging when she abruptly halted and started to grip her left side of the chest. Then, as she attempted to sit down, she keeled over and appeared to be asleep.
As terror gripped the camp and terrified team members feared the worst, Colombian medical personnel raced over. Worries grew, but an ambulance was called and sent on its way.
Medical personnel and other team members arrived on the scene as Caicedo had been unconscious for at least 90 seconds.
Fortunately, Caicedo managed to awaken by the time she was positioned on a stretcher, transported into the ambulance, and taken to a nearby hospital.
Team members watched as the entire session was unexpectedly cancelled, several of them having trouble controlling their emotions due to her state.
Colombian staff members who were present at the session immediately asked the reporters to leave, explaining: “We cannot give any more details, and we want to avoid any more confusion.”
“Linda is quite exhausted,” according to a member of the Colombian FA medical team later last night.
“What transpired was merely a sign of all the physical strain. All is back to normal now that she is healthy.”
Her teammates, though, who are scheduled to play Germany in Sydney on Sunday, are in a mess as a result of the worry.
Caicedo received an ovarian cancer diagnosis in February 2020, when she was 15 years old and right before the pandemic began. Before she could return to the football field, she endured surgery to remove a tumor and six months of chemotherapy.
“The truth is that I was very young, and perhaps I didn’t quite understand what was happening to me,” Caicedo said.
Herlinda, Caicedo’s mother, recalled: “Every time we took Linda to the hospital, she would cry and beg the doctors to be honest with her about whether or not she would be able to play football again. She only needed to know that.”
They were all in awe at her return to full fitness. She miraculously managed to transfer from Deportivo Cali to Real Madrid.
She was instrumental in both youth championships, leading the scoring in the under-17 competition as Colombia advanced to the final before falling to Spain and helping the under-20 team reach the round of eight.
The best news of all was her victory over Korea, where she scored the second goal for her team to see Columbia emerge with a 2-0 victory. However, those grins have since changed to tears and concerns after she happened to collapse in training last night.
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