London: Former England Test cricketer and captain Sir Ian Botham has revealed how he was so distressed at watching his dementia-stricken father that he could not bear to visit him and stopped visiting his dad before he passed away.
The Ashes hero lost his ‘bright and clever’ father Leslie to Alzheimer’s in 2005 but has now revealed for the first time the heart-breaking decision he made to stop visiting the shadow of father in a care home.
Botham said that as Leslie’s behaviour increasingly erratic and violent as the disease took hold it put a huge strain on his family’s emotions before the England legend decided he was no longer able to cope with the horrendous situation, The Daily Express reported.
Botham also revealed that his mother Marie was under so much strain looking after her husband that she suffered a heart attack. Leslie passed away in a care home in Somerset in December 2005 at the age of 82.
Initially Botham, now a cricket commentator at Sky Sports, would visit his father with his mother but in the end he said that he felt there was no point in going. He said that his father had to be sedated to have a shower and got violent, adding that Leslie lost all his bodily controls and was totally dysfunctional.
Botham said that he did not want to see his dad like that, and added that all he was looking at was a cavity of what was his father and told his mother that she has got to stop going and she said she couldn’t.
The former skipper revealed that he told his mother to come back as it was tearing her apart, adding that she sat there, in tears and his father did not know who she was any more.
Botham revealed that his father would have no idea who he was or who his mother was and he told her mother that he is making a decision, adding that he has got so many great memories of his father and he is not going any more.
Botham said that he told his mother that he really wished she would not because it is not doing her any good. He added that he is not going because it was destroying everything he loved about his father and he did not want to have to see him like that in that vegetable state.
Botham, who has helped to raise millions of pounds for charity over the years, said that the experience of seeing his father in this state was horrendous, adding that his father had been fit, healthy, bright, clever, a sportsman, father and grandfather.
Botham said that his father would be horrified to see himself and added that he was not prepared to keep on looking at his dad like that and seeing this person who did not even know who he was.