Muhammad Ali ‘on life support’ and his family is rushing to his bedside as legendary boxer’s condition takes turn for the worse
- Muhammad Ali is reportedly on life support at an undisclosed Arizona hospital
- He was taken to the facility on Thursday after he began having difficulty breathing and developed an ‘unshakeable cough’
- The legendary boxer’s family is now rushing to be by his bedside
- Veronica Porche said that her two daughters with Ali, Laila and Hana, were flying out to see their father on Friday
- Ali’s second wife, Khalilah, also said that one of her daughters was rushing off to see the boxer in the hospital on Friday
- He has been hospitalized several times recently, including in January 2015 for a severe urinary tract infection initially diagnosed as pneumonia
Muhammad Ali has reportedly been placed on life support as his medical condition continues to worsen, while his family is now rushing to be by his bedside.
The legendary boxer, 74, has been hospitalized at an undisclosed facility since Thursday, when he was discovered at his home ‘barely breathing’, according to Radar online.
‘He had an unshakeable cough and they had to bring him to hospital and sedate him,’ a source said.
He has since been dealing with respiratory problems which are further complicated by his Parkinson’s disease.
‘Doctors are telling the family that it likely won’t be long until he passes away,’ said one insider.
Another insider reported that his vitals ‘are terrible’, adding: ‘Ali is in dire straits and is rapidly deteriorating.
‘His breathing has become very shallow, requiring tubes.’
Fighter: Muhammad Ali (above in 2011) is on life support as he deals with respiratory issues
Medical issues: Ali (above with wife Lonnie Wiliams in October) was taken to a facility on Thursday after he began having difficulty breathing
Brutal: Ali stands over fallen challenger Sonny Liston, shouting and gesturing shortly after dropping Liston in a 1965 fight
His third wife Veronica Porche said in an interview on Friday that her two daughters with Ali, Laila and Hana, were on their way to see their father.
‘My daughters have both flown there and I will be hearing from them when they arrive at the hospital,’ Porche told Radar online.
‘I can’t comment more than that but I will say it is not so great, I’ll just say that much. He’s a real hero. It’s a sad situation.’
Ali’s second wife, Khalilah, also said that one of her daughters was rushing to see the boxer in the hospital.
A source told Radar: ‘The family feels that even if he somehow survives this setback, he’ll be left in a vegetative state.
‘He can’t stand due to stiffness in the legs. Before this incident, he would sometimes freeze upon standing, like his feet are stuck to the ground. Now he cannot even do that.’
They added: ‘Doctors fear he’s in the early stages of dementia. Or possibly beyond that.
‘The family has gathered around him and is prepared for the worst.’
Ali has been married four times, most recently to his current wife Lonnie, and has nine children – seven daughters and two sons.
‘He is being treated by his team of doctors and is in fair condition,’ said Gunnell.
‘A brief hospital stay is expected. At this time, the Muhammad Ali family respectfully requests privacy.’
He released another statement on Friday stating that there had been no change to Ali’s condition.
Laila Ali spoke about her father’s health struggles in interview with people in March, saying: ‘He’s such a fighter, still, when at times he seems weak and not able to handle it.
‘He comes through stronger than ever. He’s still fighting regardless and I love my dad for that.’
A representative for Laila told Entertainment tonight on Friday: ‘Laila’s number one priority is her father’s well-being.
‘She truly appreciates the outpouring of love for her family, as she spends quality time with her dad.’
Ali has been hospitalized several times in recent years, most recently in early 2015 when he was treated for a severe urinary tract infection initially diagnosed a month prior as pneumonia.
He has also been battling Parkinson’s for decades now, and brought much awareness to the disease thanks to his high profile and willingness to share his very public struggle since being first diagnosed in the early 1980s.
The boxer has looked increasingly frail during public appearances over the past few years, including one in April 9 where he wore sunglasses and was hunched over at the annual Celebrity Fight Night dinner in Phoenix, which raises funds for treatment of Parkinson’s.
His last public appearance prior to that was in October of last year when he appeared at the Sports Illustrated Tribute to Muhammad Ali at The Muhammad Ali Center in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
He was joined by former opponents George Foreman and Larry Holmes at that event.
Family time: Ali poses with some of his seven daughters and two sons (above) at his most recent birthday party in January of this year
Daddy’s girls: Ali with his daughter’s Laila (left) and Hana (right) at his birthday party in January
Number 1 fan: Proud Ali stops for a photograph after watching his daughter Laila win a Super Middleweight title
Hard work: Ali (above in 1970) won the World Heavyweight Championship three times over the course of his career, a record that still stands
Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942, Ali took up boxing at age 12, when his bike was stolen and he wanted to find and whip the culprit.
The boy was introduced to Joe Martin, a police officer who coached boxing at a local gym.
Ali’s brother, 68-year-old Rahaman Ali, recalled on Saturday night that the champ was cheerful and happy as a youngster.
‘As a little boy he (said) he would be the world’s greatest fighter and be a great man,’ he said.
Ali flourished in the ring, becoming a top amateur and Olympic gold medalist.
He made his professional debut in Louisville and arranged for a local children’s hospital to receive proceeds from the fight.
His decision alienated Ali from many across the U.S. and resulted in a draft-evasion conviction.
Ali found himself embroiled in a long legal fight that ended in 1971, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor.
Ali lost his first bid to regain the heavyweight crown when Frazier knocked him down and took a decision in the ‘Fight of the Century’ at Madison Square Garden in 1971.
Ali regained the heavyweight title in 1974, defeating Foreman in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle.’
A year later, he outlasted Frazier in the epic ‘Thrilla in Manila’ bout.
Ali’s last title came in 1978, when he defeated Leon Spinks.
Ali retired from boxing in 1981 and devoted himself to social causes.
He traveled the world on humanitarian missions, mingling with the masses and rubbing elbows with world leaders.
Ali received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2005.
MUHAMMAD ALI’s LONG HISTORY OF HEALTH STRUGGLES
Ali lit the Olympic torch in Atlanta in 1996 (pictured)
December 1981: Ali announced his retirement after a defeat to Trevor Berbick – and immediately began showing symptoms of Parkinson’s soon afterwards, the Guardian reported.
1984: Three years later, he was officially diagnosed with the incurable disease. His tremors became noticeable, his speech was slurred and his body movements slow.
He responded to his diagnosis in typically magnanimous fashion by saying: ‘I feel fine… I’m older and fatter, but we all change.’
July 1996: In what has become an iconic and historic image, a visibly shaking Ali carried the Olympic torch and lit the cauldron to kick of the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
His condition continued to worsen but he remained active as far as the early 2000’s and even helped promote his own biopic, Ali, in 2001.
January 2005: After then US President George Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest US civilian honor – he began to retreat from the public eye.
November 2011: Aged 69, the three time heavyweight champion was taken to an Arizona hospital to be treated for dehydration after passing out in a car.
December 2014: Ali was admitted to an undisclosed hospital, presumably in Arizona, to be treated for what was initially thought to be a mild case of pneumonia. It later transpired that he was suffering from a urinary tract infection.
The legendary boxer began to retreat from the public eye after he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest US civilian honor – in 2005 (pictured)
Ali (pictured in 2010) was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1984, when his tremors became noticeable and his speech slurred
January 2015: Unlike on his 73rd birthday, the family released no pictures of themselves celebrating his birthday on January 17.
A tweet was posted on his Twitter account to mark the event.
March 2016: Ali’s wife revealed that his Parkinson’s had become so severe, the legendary boxer spent his days watching old videos of past fights and interviews.
Lonnie Ali told The times he enjoyed winding back the clock and re-watching his historic bouts with arch rival Joe Frazier and interviews with Michael Parkinson.
Source: Daily Mail