Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting has opened up on his son’s terrifying near-death experiences.
Fletcher Ponting, five, has almost died twice in his short life, with his former Test captain father forced to watch on helplessly on both occasions.
When Fletcher was just six weeks old he fought and won a desperate battle with meningitis – spending weeks clinging to life in ICU.
The Ponting family’s world was turned upside down when at eight months old Fletcher contracted an infection during a hernia surgery.
Ponting recalled the night the infection shut down his son’s body as the cricket great stood by while more than 15 doctors and nurses battled to save the boy’s life.
‘He was just limp. I thought to myself, “He’s gone!” Every nurse and doctor from the level rushed into the room at the same time – it was like a code red,’ Ponting told The Herald Sun.
‘It’s where your mind goes. Your body goes numb. You are helpless. There’s nothing scarier.’
They started the foundation in 2008 when they paid a life-changing visit to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Sydney after being invited by former Wallaby Phil Kearns.
Ponting remembered one of the moments which changed him forever.
‘We got to the chemotherapy ward where there was a 13-year-old boy… and he’s attached to all these machines and tubes are coming out of him,’ he told The Howie Games.
‘He must have been a cricket fan … I got up close to the glass, he saw me by the window and he sat up in bed and his face lit up.’
Through his excitement the teenager tried to stand, but was in so much pain he collapsed and vomited.
‘Once we got out the front both of us just started bawling our eyes out at what we’d just seen,’ Ponting said.
‘That was the line in the sand. It was, “Right, now we’ve got to help these people.”‘
Ever since the Ponting Foundation has been dedicated to supporting families who are battling cancer by providing emotional support and financial assistance.
Most recently the foundation announced $50,000 in new funding for Tasmanian cancer services.
SOURCE: Daily Mail Australia