Friday, Jun 5, 2020
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Eddie Ford at peace with health issues

I was sent an updated photo of Eddie Ford on Wednesday and it had a quite surreal effect on me. No, I wasn’t hallucinating, but it was strange indeed having to flip my mind quickly from the once robust, remarkably-athletic specimen, to an Eddie Ford who is in a serious health battle.

The once super athletic body has been ravaged by multiple myeloma. It is one of the most severe cancer challenges. Research reveals that multiple myeloma has its base of origin in the bone marrow cells but is inclined to spread throughout the body. In his present

condition, sister Linda or brother Mario often speak on his behalf.

On Thursday morning, I called Linda (who enjoyed greatness as a softball pitcher) and asked about Eddie. They were in the middle of a doctor’s visit but she indicated that the former versatile, gifted athlete, arguably the greatest Bahamian of them all, was at peace with his illness and overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and best wishes.

“What’s been happening has put him in good spirits. I mean, every day folks make contact or come by to express their appreciation and show him they care. I can tell that the great demonstration of love and friendship has given him joy,” said the sister who has been a caregiver supreme for Eddie, and previously for other siblings and father Percy. Yesterday, she reflected for a moment on being at the forefront of providing personal care for her immediate family members.

“Wenty (older brother, the major leaguer) died in 1980 in a traffic accident but Leighton went four months later and I looked out for him. Then it was my daddy (Percival), who has been gone now for about 21 years, then Kevin, and last year Wardy, and now its Eddie,” said Linda, somewhat forlorn, but obviously in full acceptance of the reality of mortality.

One of the long-time associates of Eddie who offered comments on the legendary one, was Arnold (now Bain Man) Bain. It was he who sent me the updated photo and we had our own reminiscent moment about the superstar from Windsor Lane, who had the potential to be an elite track and field athlete; developed, in my mind, into our most physically gifted cricketer; reached stardom in baseball and softball; and had the crowning milestone of 100 points scored in a basketball game.

“There he was, surrounded by all of his trophies and plaques. He is at a good place, in touch with his Christian principles and with a grip on the situation. Yes, physically, he is not like the Eddie we knew for so many years, but he is in a good frame of mind,” said Bain.

This is a sobering period for the national sporting fraternity members who overlap the Golden Era of Sports (1930s-1970s) with the subsequent decades. Just recently, Sir Durward Knowles, Edmundo Moxey, Everette ‘Elisha Obed’ Ferguson, Freddie ‘Bat’ Miller, Arthur Clarke and Greg Christie were among the noted sporting individuals who moved on into eternity.

A nation must be thankful for their earthly presence and contributions to sports development in the country.

Continued best wishes Eddie!

• To respond to this column, interested persons are asked to kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address, or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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