Boxing legend Jeff Fenech made a miraculous recovery and managed to walk his daughter down the aisle just weeks after life-saving surgery.
The former triple world champion, 55, was rushed into intensive care in Bangkok, Thailand, on October 4 after he began coughing up blood at a training camp.
He was set to miss his daughter Jessica’s wedding as he recovered from a five-hour operation on an infected heart valve which almost killed him.
Boxing legend Jeff Fenech made a miraculous recovery and managed to walk his daughter down the aisle (pictured) just weeks after having life-saving surgery
However, on Saturday he completed a miracle when he made it back to Sydney in time to walk his daughter down the aisle.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Fenech was was preparing to watch the ceremony on Skype, but shocked family and friends when he walked Jessica down the aisle at St Mary’s Cathedral.
He was pictured wearing a tuxedo and black baseball cap, looking tired as he accompanied his daughter to the front of the church.
Thinking he would miss the ceremony, Fenech watched his daughter tie the knot in a wedding ceremony at his bedside after she and her fiance flew to Thailand.
Jessica was walked down the hospital corridor by her mother Suzee wearing a veil and short white dress suit, A Current Affair reported.
Fenech’s wife and three children had rushed from Australia to accompany him before, during and after his invasive surgery.
‘He’s a fighter, he always has been, so he’ll get through this,’ his emotional daughter Kayla told Seven News.
Jessica walks down the hospital corridor with her mother Suzee so Jeff Fenech is able to watch her get married
Moving memories from the wedding included Jessica leaning down to kiss her father on the cheek
‘It was very hard to see him like that I hope to never see him like that again.
‘We all just started crying because he looked so sick, but we were all relieved.’
She and her siblings arrived at the hospital just 10 minutes before their dad was wheeled into theatre for the marathon surgery.
‘Thinking of you non stop. Love you so so much. See you very soon. Can’t wait to give you a big cuddle, kiss and to just be by your side. You’re going to pull through this dad. You’re the strongest man I’ve ever known,’ Kayla posted on Instagram at the time.
Her sister Jess added on Twitter: ‘Love you so much dad, we are all praying for you and thinking of you every single second that goes by and will be right by your side as soon as you open your eyes! You are so strong ! You are a fighter! Love you to death.’
Jessica wore a veil and a short white dress suit as she exchanged vows with her fiance
Fenech (left) was initially devastated he was unable to walk his daughter Jess (centre) down the isle (right: wife Suzee)
Kayla Fenech has been at her dad Jeff’s hospital bedside in Thailand since his surgery
What was originally meant to be keyhole surgery changed to open heart surgery at the last minute.
Fenech had to be operated on in an elevated position sitting up so surgeons could drain fluid from his lungs while replacing the severely damaged heart valve.
‘We couldn’t crying because he looked so sick but we’re all relieved,’ Kayla said after the operation.
While the worst of his toughest fight yet is over for the boxing legend once known as the Marrickville Mauler, Fenech isn’t out of the woods just yet as the threat of further infection remains high.
It was originally believed he would have to stay in Thailand for at least four weeks, believing he would miss the wedding.
‘The next seven days are going to be incredibly important for Jeff, particularly with the infection status,’ family friend Dominic Jarvis told Nine News at the time.
An emotional Kayla Fenech says the boxing legend will get through his toughest fight yet
Jeff Fenech (pictured on Saturday) will remain in hospital in Thailand for another 4-5 weeks
He received a call in hospital from old mate, ex-heavyweight champion Mike Tyson on Monday
‘We’re hoping he’s got more strength left in him – and I’m sure he has – to get through this last hospital aspect of the ordeal.’
Fenech’s spirits got a much-needed boost on Monday when he received a call from an old mate, ex-heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
The pair have been friends since 2005 and Fenech trained Tyson when the world heavyweight champion came out of retirement.
‘Tyson and his wife (Lakiha) called to see how Jeff was. That lifted Jeff’s spirits,’ Fenech close friend and renowned businessman Mark Bouris told The Daily Telegraph.
‘Jeff is no stranger to personal conflict. Like everything else, I know he will battle through it.
Doctors feared for Fenech’s life when he was rushed to hospital.
Jeff Fenech (pictured with his wife Suzee and daughter Jess) was rushed to hospital on Friday
Fenech began boxing in 1984, the same year he represented Australia at the Olympics
An emotional Fenech broke the concerning news about his health to fans from his hospital bed the following day.
‘I’ve got some pretty bad news, I’ve got an infected valve that’s connected to my heart,’ he explained in a video posted by Boxing Epicentre.
‘Which means over the next few days they’ll try to get rid of the infection and then I’ll have to have surgery.’
He then broke down in tears about not being able to stay at the camp with his boxers.
‘I feel really bad for the rest of the team,’ a distraught Fenech says.
Fenech began boxing in 1984, the same year he represented Australia at the Olympics in Los Angeles.
He cemented his status as a professional boxer and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2002.
His record stood at 29 wins, three losses and a draw from 33 bouts when he retired in 1996.
Fenech’s wife of 23 years Suzee has flown to Thailand to be by her husband’s bedside