Not long after the news that former Australia batsman Dean Jones has passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest inside a hotel in Mumbai aged 59 this Thursday (September 24), it was revealed that ex Aussie paceman and co-commentator, Brett Lee, twice performed the necessary CPR to try and revive his countryman.
Lee, Jones' co-panelist for host broadcaster Star Sports in their 'Select Dugout' team for the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, made heroic efforts to save his friend. Tragically, however, 'Deano' couldn't be revived.
Upon learning of Lee's bravery in the face of adversity, Jones' wife Jane thanked him. Lee went through that traumatic incident and yet showed stellar courage amidst great sadness to later front up the cameras for the pre-game show.
"We want to especially thank and acknowledge Brett Lee's tireless efforts to keep Dean alive," Jane told The Age.
"At this moment, we would sincerely ask the cricketing world to respect the privacy of our family."
"Details of Dean's memorial celebration will be released in due course, so everyone has the chance to rightly commemorate his wonderful legacy and bid farewell."
Phoebe, Jones' daughter, also expressed gratitude towards Lee via an Instagram post.
"Our family is eternally grateful to Brett Lee for doing everything he could," she said. "We are overwhelmed with your outpouring of kind words, support and tributes."
"His legacy will live on in every life he touched. I just keep staring at my phone waiting for him to call and tell me this is just a bad dream."
Pheobe's sibling, Augusta, too posted on Instagram, expressing grief.
"I cannot believe I am writing this. My heart is broken, My Dad. My Hero. The sweetest and most caring person you could ever meet," she wrote. "If only you could see now how many lives you touched. If only you could see now how loved you were."
"You held my hand through the toughest times this year, how will I do this without you? The heavens have opened their gates for another angel. Wait for me dad. Everything I do is for you. I love you Dad."
Jane said Jones' untimely demise has left a huge gap in her and his daughters' lives.
"My girls and I are devastated and saddened beyond belief to hear of Dean's death in India," she said. "My beautiful husband, the love of my life has lived his life with every bit of energy at his disposal, and he leaves an enormous gap in our lives which can never be filled."
"He leaves us with so many wonderful memories that will last forever. At this challenging time, when our grief is so raw, we have drawn much consolation from the many messages of goodwill and support from so many people around the world."
"Given Dean's special love for the sub-continent, it was especially touching to hear so broadly from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. We are overwhelmed by the scale of the response to the news of his death and we will forever be grateful for that."