Ben Fordham broke down during his breakfast radio show on 2GB on Tuesday morning while sharing the heartbreaking loss of his cousin Tori's only son Luca, five.
The 44-year-old shared the story on Ben Fordham Live, revealing Luca had been at the Children's Hospital at Randwick after suffering a stroke in November last year.
"I have a little bit of personal news," Ben began. "Now, I have been steeling myself to say this, but I do have a little bit of personal news involving a little fella called Luca, who I've told you about in recent times.
"He's my little mate, who is five years of age, and he's the only child of my beautiful cousin Tori. Sadly, Luca passed away over the weekend, and I want to tell you a little bit about what's happened to Luca," he said as he fought back tears.
The presenter shared that Luca had suffered a stroke on November 29, Ben's birthday, just one day after he'd been at Ben's mother's house "swimming with his cousins in the swimming pool".
"The next day he was running along kicking a soccer ball, and the next thing his legs just gave out from underneath him and he was airlifted from Wollongong to Sydney, where he went to the children's hospital and it was discovered he'd suffered a stroke," he said.
To put things in layman's terms for his listeners, Ben said Luca suffered a "complete system breakdown" and had been in hospital for the last 11 months fighting for his life.
"His mum Tori, who's a single mum with a lot of help from my mum and my sister, have been doing everything they can to get the best medical advice from around the world and that's been assisted in a great way by the children's hospital at Randwick," he continued.
"But there was just nothing they could do for him in the end, and he had several moments over the last year where things got very, very difficult for him because he'd get sick in hospital. He didn't have the strength to fight it."
Ben continued, "I saw him in the morning on Saturday because we knew that his life was coming to an end, and he died on Saturday afternoon."
Taking some time to pause as he teared up, Ben then thanked the "absolutely incredible staff" at the children's hospital for everything they did, sharing the names of everyone he could remember.
Ben said the family is waiting until after Covid restrictions lift to lay him to rest, choosing to do it on October 25, Luca's birthday.
Paying tribute to Tori, he said, "How you've done it, we've got no idea."
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