Muhammad Ali’s family says dialysis machine rang one ‘final bell’ moments before he died
Ali died on Friday, aged 74, and is due to be buried in his home town of Louisville, Kentucky this Friday.
His daughter Laila said: ‘One of the things he was afraid of was death, and he definitely wouldn’t want to just move on. But we’re not in control, God is in control.’
Laila, who has since retired from boxing with an unbeaten record, was with her eight siblings at her father’s bedside when he passed away on Friday evening.
Muhammad Ali‘s family say a ‘final bell’ rang out from his kidney dialysis machine seconds before he died.
His daughter Rasheeda told People magazine: ’The dialysis bell went “ding, ding, ding”.
‘We all kind of stopped. I thought “Somebody’s ringing a boxing bell”. I looked at him instinctively and said, “Get your ass up!” Everybody started laughing.’
She said: ‘Dad did that. He was looking for a way to make the mood more comical and stop us crying.’ I felt he rang that bell on purpose, and then we all burst in to tears again.’
Another daughter Hana said: ‘He’d gotten up off the mat so often, it was hard to believe he wouldn’t get up one more time.’
Hana, who shares the same mother as Laila, said: ‘We all tried to stay strong and whispered in his ear, ‘You can go now. We will be OK. We love you. You can go back to God now.’
‘All of us were hugging and kissing him, holding his hands, chanting the Islamic prayer.’
Ali’s spokesman Bob Gunnell said he was deeply moved by the scene. ‘It was a wonderful thing to witness. A lot of love and every member of his family was there,’ he said.
‘There was a lot of crying … but more important they did it with dignity and kindness, as Muhammad lived his life.’
She added that his heart kept beating for 30 minutes after his organs shut down.
Laila told CBS she was uncomfortable discussing his final moments, but added she was glad the members of his family were there.
This show of solidarity in grief is undoubtedly one that Ali’s family will maintain – at least until after his funeral.
His family are now preparing for the funeral in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday.
They could also be set to spar over the late sportsman’s $50million fortune.
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