Tyson Fury has recalled the terrifying moment that his daughter's heart stopped after she was born prematurely.

Athena was born early in August last year, just weeks before the boxer's arguably greatest win in his career against Deontay Wilder.

And now, the boxer has spoken about the difficult time in his upcoming book, Gloves Off, which also sees him describe himself as "a bona fide legend and once-in-a-lifetime superhero".

In an extract from the book, the self-styled Gypsy King, 34, says his wife Paris, 32, and his six kids are "always in his thoughts" and are "so precious" to the boxer, before going into the story surrounding Athena's birth.

Ahead of his 2021 fight with Wilder, he slept on the hospital floor while his daughter fought for her life at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, after being born prematurely two months prior.

Tyson said that the birth initially went well, despite the fact Athena was born prematurely, and that "everything was perfect" as he held his daughter for the first time.

He also confirmed there were no signs of anything wrong during the pregnancy.

But then the midwife took the baby from his arms and "within minutes" everything was "kicking off" in the hospital, with the midwife telling him and wife Paris that Athena's heart was beating too quickly.

Athena was quickly hooked up to a machine and her heart rate was reading as 300 beats per minute, when it should have been closer to 120bpm. An injection helped slow the rate down to 140bpm, but it still continued to spike – with Athena at high risk of going into a cardiac arrest and dying.

He said he felt a "sense of total helplessness" as he saw the medical staff "rushing around", with Athena being sedated before getting a tube down her throat to assist her breathing before she was blue-lighted to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool. One she arrived at the children's hospital, they were able to stabilise her heart rate.

She was then placed on an incubator, but even though her situation had improved, Tyson and Paris were told they weren't out of the woods yet – as Athena's heart rate was still "all over the place" and could die at any moment.

While Paris recovered and Athena stayed in the hospital, Tyson stayed in the Ronald McDonald House, an accommodation for parents attached to the hospital. Tyson admits that every day his "head span", all while he was trying to think about his fight with Deontay Wilder.

So while Alder Hey were giving Athena life-saving treatment, he began his training – but it was while he was out on a run when Paris called him "hysterical" from the hospital.

In the extract published by the Sun, Tyson wrote: "‘The baby’s died,’ she screamed. ‘The baby’s dead. She’s dead. She’s dead . . .’

"I sprinted to the ward as fast as I could, fearing the worst."

He ran to the hospital while trying to reassure Paris over the phone, before finding "a hundred medics" surrounding his daughter.

Tyson said: "Apparently, she’d become completely unresponsive while Paris was holding her, then her heartbeat had faded away to nothing."

Thankfully Athena was resuscitated, but Paris was "losing it" after seeing her daughter turn unresponsive in her arms, and was only able to calm down once the doctors were able to steady Athena.

The pair were then told that she would have to remain in hospital until she made a full recovery, which ended up taking around three weeks, eventually leaving the hospital at the end of August.

Athena's fight in the hospital inspired her dad to go ahead with the fight with Wilder, beating him with an eleventh round knockout – which he described as "one of the most epic fights of all time."


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