‘I still tell people I’ve got three kids’: Sydney Swans star Jarrad McVeigh’s heart-wrenching admission after losing baby daughter to a heart condition a week after she was born
- Jarrad McVeigh still refers to himself as a father-of-three after his daughter died
- Luella died in August 2011 due to complications just weeks after she was born
- He has since had two more girls but says he will always be proud of his first born
Retired AFL legend Jarrad McVeigh still refers to himself as a father-of-three eight years after his newborn daughter died.
The former Sydney Swans captain and his wife Clementine lost their newborn, Luella, just weeks after she was born.
She succumbed to a heart condition in August 2011, and the parents later welcomed Lolita, now seven, and two-year-old Florence.
Even as the years pass, McVeigh said he and his wife will never get over the loss, but that ‘the tears are further apart’.
Jarrad McVeigh with wife Clementine and daughters Lolita and Florence on August 1
In 2017, Clementine shared photos of their ‘angel baby’ Luella (pictured) when commemorating the six-year anniversary of her passing
‘When someone asks how many children I have, I say three,’ McVeigh told The Sunday Telegraph.
‘When they ask where the third child is, it’s always an awkward conversation.’
But McVeigh said its an awkward conversation that is important to have.
‘I tell people I’ve had three children because I’m proud of my first daughter and I’m proud of my wife for giving birth to three children.’
The All Australian ex-player will help to raise money for pediatric care on November 8 and 9 by participating in a 24 hour indoor exercise bike marathon called the Spinathon.
The Spinathon hopes to raise $100,000 for a new humidicrib for the Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick.
Humidicribs are a type of incubator designed specifically for premature babies to give them the best chance at surviving and adapting to life outside of the womb.
McVeigh and his wife Clementine (pictured together) refer to themselves as parents of three after their eldest daughter Luella died of heart complications weeks after she was born in 2011
McVeigh celebrates after winning the 2012 AFL Grand Final match with Clementine and his daughter Lolita, the year after Luella died
Earlier this year, McVeigh retired from his sport on the eighth anniversary of his daughter’s death.
Clementine shared a touching tribute at the time, congratulating her husband on a 15-year career.
‘This moment Jarrad kissed his ‘black arm band’ for our beautiful Luella after she passed,’ Ms McVeigh wrote.
McVeigh walks onto the field for his last game on Saturday with daughters and Kieren Jack, who is also retiring
‘Today my incredible husband will play his last game… the sport he loves so much he can’t even describe in words.
‘The passion and love he has put into the game/his career is a drive that is beyond what I could imagine.’
‘Today is also the anniversary of our Luella’s passing… what are the chances of this? Maybe the universe made it this way… so today I shed tears for my baby girl, and shed tears for my husband’s incredible career.’
Clementine McVeigh said ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ as she shared a photo of the Swans veteran to mark his final game at Sydney Cricket Ground in August
McVeigh kissed the black armband after celebrating a goal during the AFL Second Semi Final in September 2011 – weeks after his daughter died
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