Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech has undergone life-saving heart surgery in Bangkok, Thailand. The former three-time world champion was rushed to hospital on Friday.
Fenech was placed in intensive care, with doctors diagnosing him with a badly infected heart valve and a lung infection which required emergency surgery. Fenech went into surgery in Bangkok on Tuesday night, and the operation lasted over five hours.
Doctors replaced a damaged heart valve and drained his lungs during the successful procedure. The surgery was a success, but Fenech will remain in hospital as there’s still the risk of infection.
He may need to have his lungs drained again to avoid infection. Fenech’s wife, Suzee, arrived in Thailand earlier in the week and his kids landed on Tuesday. They met up with him just minutes before he went into surgery.
Deep in training camp, Fenech didn’t want to go to hospital when he fell sick last week. However his fighters took it upon themselves to call an ambulance.
Doctors say if he wasn’t taken to hospital when he was, things could have taken a more tragic turn. Jeff Fenech is a retired Australian professional boxer. He won world boxing titles in three weight divisions, 9 news reports.
Fenech Also Trained Boxing Legend Mike Tyson
Iconic heavyweight Mike Tyson, who Fenech trained in 2005, is said to have called to wish the legend well ahead of his surgery.
He represented Australia at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He was controversially stripped of a boxing decision-win against Yugoslavian Redzep Redzepovski, and won a gold medal at the Oceanian Championships in the same year.
His professional boxing record included 29 wins, 21 of which were by knockout. Fenech now trains a number of young professional boxing fighters breaking their way onto the world stage.
He is receiving around the clock care with 10 nurses in the ICU.