Judah Oquendo, The All-American: A Comeback Story


* (Judah in the 14 Year Division 100m Final)


When Judah Oquendo was 13 years old, he suffered from a collapsed lung during track practice. Less than a year later he is an All-American in the 100m and 200m at the AAU Junior Olympics. His father, Carlos Oquendo, tell his story.

"Every parent believes their child is special, so in that regard I suppose I'm not different.  Judah is 14 years old and he is competed in the 100m & 200m at this year's AAU Junior Olympics.  He is new to the sport and last year was his only first year running. He made it to AAU Junior Olympics his first year and was just shy of the podium. But what happened next showed Judah's true strength.

When Judah was 13 years old on November 6, 2019, he was in his second practice of the off-season  when he complained to me about chest pain that quickly progressed to him not being able to breathe. I thought at first, "he was just out of shape", but it progressively got worse and he told me he felt like he was dying at times, and was not able to breathe. I rushed him to the hospital and it turns out his left lung completely collapsed and was sitting on his heart. He was dying. They performed the life saving procedure of a chest tube.