DARTS star Andy Fordham yesterday admitted he is 'terrified of dying' after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
The 62-year-old, who has been beset by health problems in recent years, said: “This is the scariest thing I’ve ever had to face in my life.”
In an emotional interview the former world champion broke down in tears as he explained how a doctor has warned him he faces a make-or-break few days.
Fordham told SunSport: “Right now I am just about coping.
“But I spoke to my doctor who warned me the virus can hit you very quickly.
“My biggest fear is waking up one morning, not being able to breathe and being placed in the back of the ambulance – then not seeing my wife and children again.”
Andy, nicknamed the Viking during a glittering career as a pro darts player which saw him win the world title in 2004, had been doing all he could to be careful in recent months.
But he thinks he got the virus following a recent trip to a nearby chemist.
After starting to develop a cough he was diagnosed with the virus on Friday and now has to self-isolate in his room.
Andy – who once weighed 31 stone and downed 25 bottles of lager a day – has spoken openly about his health issues.
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In 2009, he got his weight down to 16 stone but last year he ballooned back up to 28 stone.
In February, it led to him being rushed to hospital where an operation on his bowel led to him having 16 litres of fluid drained from his body.
Andy, who is teetotal these days, now weighs 21 stone but suffers from a serious liver condition.
Due to a groin injury, Fordham also struggles to walk without pain.
He hasn’t thrown a dart in more than a year – but right now he says his biggest concern is beating this virus.
Fordham continued: “I look down the stairs and can see my dart board in the hall but I haven’t played for nearly a year.
“I miss it but right now the only thing I am focused on is beating this virus. I am really worried about giving the virus to my family.
“I am staying in my bedroom because my wife, Jenny, has had cancer twice and my father-in-law who lives with us is 87 and is severely disabled.
“For nearly a year we’ve been so careful and followed all the rules.
"So to be diagnosed now is a massive shock to the system and totally heartbreaking.
“When you get the virus you suddenly realise everything you take for granted.
"I am sitting thinking a lot about all the things I’d miss if this virus overcomes me, like seeing my grandchildren grow up.
"I’m just hoping and praying I come through it.”
Andy has also suffered the loss of a close pal dying from the virus.
Fordham explained: “He was a mutual friend of mine and Dennis Priestley. He was around the circuit and would travel with Dennis.
“The three of us were all at an exhibition in January last year at the Excel in London.
"Then, just a few weeks later, I got a call to tell me he’d died. I was devastated as he was such a lovely man.”
Meanwhile Andy has urged people to wear masks and follow the rules, saying: “In the past year I’ve rarely been out.
"But on the rare occasions I have the amount of people you see not wearing a mask or social distancing is terrifying.
"It’s vital people follow the rules and I’d beg them to make sure they do – for their – and everyone else's – sakes.”
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