As he lies in a hospital bed, two-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Diamond breaks down in tears. After recently suffering heart failure, the devastated shooting champion now faces the prospect of a heart transplant.
As Michael’s well aware, his condition is a matter of life and death.
“I was bowled over by the simple fact that somebody would have to pass away to give me life,” the 47-year-old exclusively tells New Idea from Newcastle’s Calvary Mater Hospital, in NSW. “That’s pretty tough and sad.”
His words are choked with emotion, but Michael is a battler determined to live. For himself and for his children.
“It’s a pretty sobering feeling to have your heart fail on you,” he says. “It puts things into check.
“I do want to hang around. I want to see my kids get older and get married and I want to have grandchildren. I’d be very grateful for life.”
Michael has three daughters – Isabella, 16, Angelica, 13, and Rihanna, 8 – with Cathy Diamond, from whom he has separated. The six-time Olympian says his children are struggling to come to terms with his illness.
“My youngest one has taken this quite hard,” he says. “She doesn’t really understand.”
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