'Really hard': Jordan Ablett opens up on son's tragic health battle

·4-min read
Pictured here, Gary and Jordan Ablett with their baby boy, Levi.
Gary and Jordan Ablett have had to deal with some tragic family challenges in 2020. Pic: Instagram

Jordan Ablett would love her husband Gary to crown his 357th and final match in the AFL, with another flag in Saturday night's decider against Richmond.

Whatever happens though, she's just looking forward to her husband being around more often, after explaining the heartbreaking challenges the family has faced in 2020.

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While it’s fair to say 2020 hasn’t been a banner year by anyone’s standards thanks to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Ablett family have dealt with more than their fair share of adversity.

The death of Jordan’s mother Trudy, as well as she and Gary sharing the news of their son Levi being diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease, added significant stress to an already tough year.

Gary was granted leave by Geelong to be with his family earlier in the year, but has spent a significant chunk of 2020 in isolation with his Cats teammates.

Coupled with her mother's death and the ongoing care around their son Levi's health condition, Jordan says it has been overwhelming.

“It was really, really hard. Because the diagnosis came when mum was towards the end of her journey ... we just had a lot of things happen all at once,” Jordan said on Channel 9.

“So yeah, we are in this together and it is what it is. And yeah, we are just taking it day by day.”

Seen here, Gary and Jordan Ablett, as well as their son Levi and Jordan's mother Trudy.
Gary and Jordan Ablett revealed their son Levi's diagnosis and dealt with the death of Jordan's mother Trudy in a tough 2020. Pictures: Instagram/jordan_ablett

The 34-year-old said despite the tragic nature of Levi's degenerative health condition, he remains a happy boy, with a bubbly personality.

“He’s doing well. He does have his challenges that we as a family are facing on a day-to-day basis,” Jordan said.

“But in saying that he’s so determined, and like you said, he’s just so smiley and has such a joy for life.”

Fairytale ending beckons for Ablett

Dual Brownlow medallist Ablett has achieved everything there is to in his 356 AFL matches since debuting way back in 2002.

But regardless of the result in Saturday's grand final, the two-time premiership winner will hang up his boots and begin a new chapter with his young family.

“We have always said that come post-footy we would definitely want to just go travel. But obviously that’s not happening any time soon,” Jordan said.

“I’m just looking forward to having him just be at home with us and just be fully present. It will be nice having him at home, making some good family memories together.”

Ablett also has eight All-Australian blazers, six club best and fairest awards and five Leigh Matthews trophies over the course of a glittering career.

Jordan says a win on Saturday night would be a fitting way for a legend of the sport to bow out, and give the family a much-needed cause for celebration in an otherwise tough year.

“Of course he’d love to sign-off on his career with another premiership, but I think just getting the opportunity to play in another Grand Final has meant so much to him already and to all of us who love him," Jordan told The Herald Sun.

“(It’s) so special and I am just so thankful that this is the way Gaz gets to hang up his boots. He absolutely deserves this kind of ending. It is sad that our families can’t be physically here with us but in saying that, people have been unable to see their own families and even say goodbye to loved ones for a long time now which certainly keeps everything in perspective.

“Although it would have been nice to have our families join us for this moment, we’re just grateful that Levi and I are here and can attend the game on Saturday. Hopefully we can celebrate ‘something special’ with the family post-season.”

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