Jordan Ablett's devastating admission about son's life expectancy

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Gary and Jordan Ablett, pictured here with son Levi.
Gary and Jordan Ablett have opened up about Levi's degenerative disease. Image: Instagram

Jordan Ablett has revealed son Levi's degenerative disease means he has a tragically short life expectancy.

Jordan and Gary Ablett - an AFL champion who retired at the end of the 2020 season - last year revealed Levi had been diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease.

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On Tuesday, Ablett's wife Jordan opened up about the awful moment they found out the diagnosis, revealing Levi has a devastatingly short life expectancy.

“I just remember sitting with Gaz in that meeting and when they said it I just remember absolutely breaking down,” Jordan told Mardi Dangerfield and Hester Brown in an interview for The Significant Other’s Podcast.

“It’s one thing to receive a diagnosis which just confirms that Levi has a rare and degenerative disease, however it’s another thing to understand that it is life-threatening and that’s like a whole other ball game and a whole other situation in itself because that stuff you just can’t prepare for.

“There is a very short life expectancy which is why I constantly say to people when they ask about Levi that we are literally just taking it day by day because we have no idea what the future holds.”

Jordan and Levi Ablett, pictured here after the 2020 AFL Grand Final.
Jordan and Levi Ablett look on after the 2020 AFL Grand Final. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Abletts first spoke about Levi's plight before they relocated to Queensland when Melbourne-based AFL teams were forced out of Victoria at the height of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.

Jordan said they initially wanted to keep the diagnosis to themselves, but spoke publicly for a number of reasons.

“The week we announced it, that was the week that the boys then moved into the hub, so he was going with them and he wasn’t sure how long he would stay,” she said.

“He thought it would be a good idea also to put that out there so people had a bit of an understanding, so that if he decided to leave, I can guarantee you that unless they knew what the reasons were, it was ‘Why is Gaz leaving the hub?’"

On top of Levi's diagnosis, Jordan was also rocked by the death of her mother around the same time.

“Mum wanted to be sure that I would be supported and I guess by holding on to that and not sharing that, how can people help if we refuse to allow people to help by being honest with them and letting them know what is up,” she said.

“The third reason was, we felt that, and this was not the intention, but we felt by us not sharing it was like we were saying Levi ‘Don’t be you’, and that was never the case."

Levi rushed to hospital after recent health scare

Jordan has spoken openly about the family's year from hell in 2020, often providing touching updates about Levi's experiences in hospital.

Last month she said an unexpected recent incident saw Levi whisked to the hospital's emergency department.

"We did recently have a scare which saw us spontaneously in emergency, but thankfully he is back home with us and overall his health is stable at this point," she told the Herald Sun.

"He is very happy which makes us happy."

The nature of Levi's condition means multiple trips to the hospital every month for the family.

"Levi has many specialists overseeing him which means there are lots of appointments for us to attend," Jordan explained.

"Levi has a team of specialists surrounding him who together closely monitor him and his health."

Jordan recently shared previously unseen photos of Levi at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, alongside a message about her involvement with their Good Friday appeal.

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