Richmond Tigers favourite Bachar Houli has revealed his mother is in intensive care battling COVID-19.
The dual-premiership star recently decided not to join the Tigers in their AFL inter-state hub to help care for his wife, newborn baby and the family.
But taking to Instagram on Monday afternoon, Houli revealed the heartbreaking news that his mother was battling the virus, urging anyone experiencing even the slightest of symptoms to get a test.
“I thought I’d share a very quick message and a reminder for myself and everyone out there and more specifically to the Muslim community out there,” Houli said in the Instagram video
“I want to share a personal experience with the current situation that we’re all facing out with the COVID-19.
“My family has been affected by COVID-19. It’s been tough, it’s been a tough time. When you’re restricted and you’re isolated, it’s very touching.
“More specifically, my mother’s been affected a lot. She’s currently in ICU undergoing some heavy treatment. The team in the ICU is taking care of her. Her current state is a mixed one. God knows best her situation.
“What burns and what hurts truly is the fact that no one from her family members can go and visit her, which is very, very tough. Please put yourselves in this position.
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“I don’t want you to feel sorry for me but rather think about in general and think about as it being you and part of your family. Hopefully you can change your mindset about COVID-19. The reality is it is out there.
“I’m experiencing it right now within my family. Please I urge you for the sake of Allah go get tested. If you’re showing any form of symptoms, if you’re not showing any symptoms, please do your bit.”
In a statement released on Monday afternoon, Richmond extended their “thoughts” and “well wishes” to the Houli family.
“As a Club, we’re continuing to offer Bachar and his family the support they need at this time, and we all hope Yamama recovers from COVID-19 soon,” Richmond’s General Manager – Football Performance, Tim Livingstone said.
Houli urged his social media following to help “do your bit” and follow the rules in the fight to stop the spread, saying he had been tested dozens of times in recent weeks.
“I’ve been tested over 30 times being a current AFL player, and that’s the protocols. And we had to tick the box. It tickles a little bit, it doesn’t hurt. It’s a very, very quick procedure,” he said.
“Please go to the nearest place and go get tested. Do your best to isolate, and we do our best to wipe out this current pandemic.”