April 11, 2003

Ailing Wilson Jones battles for life What's the use of becoming a world champion if I end up like this?’’ India’s first world champion in any sport told his wife Peggy a few months after he suffered a major stroke two years ago.  Peggy recollects the good times, because now, Wilson Jones can’t even speak to her. Staring at the floor of their Bhatia Hospital ward in Tardeo, Peggy seems to be reliving the glorious days.  The numerous trophies back in Sportsfield, Worli, cannot foot the huge bills the couple has been paying for Jones’ ailment.  "He never cut a penny for himself. He always played by the rules and whatever savings he had, is going into his treatment,’’ says Peggy. ‘‘We have been married for 52 years and I see that he is frustrated because he was never dependent on anyone. Also, the memory lapses he goes through makes me feel sad,’’ says Peggy.  Even seven-year-old granddaughter Lily has been missing him. ‘‘Lily is so upset that she is not allowed to meet her grandfather,’’ said daughter-in-law Julia.  Doctor Nitin Sampat, who has been treating the former billiards champion for some time, says he is not responding as well as he did earlier. ‘‘He has a tumor in the pituitary region. He also suffers from diabetes, blood pressure.  “The last time he came to me, he responded well and improved quickly. This time, he is not coming out well. We will keep him under observation for another eight to 10 days,’’ Sampat said.