The world continues to mourn the death of the “greatest of all time,” Muhammad Ali — who passed Friday evening in an Arizona-area hospital from respiratory illness — but a touching anecdote from the legendary boxer’s daughter shows he fought to the very end.
In a statement released Saturday morning on Twitter, Hana Ali revealed the three-time heavyweight champion’s heart kept beating 30 minutes after the rest of his organs failed.
“All of us were around him hugging and kissing him and holding his hands, chanting the Islamic prayer,” she wrote. “All of his organs failed but his HEART wouldn’t stop beating. For 30 minutes…his heart just keep beating.”
Ali, an author, spoke of her father’s courageous spirit, even after his children encouraged him to let go.
“We all tried to stay strong and whispered in his ear, ‘You can go now. We will be okay.’”
The iconic athlete, who was also known for his humanitarian acts and for being outspoken against racism and prejudice, was 74-years-old.
May he finally rest in peace.
Muhammad Ali’s Life in Pictures
1. Paris Portait, 1960Source:AFP/Getty Images 1 of 20
2. Training, 1960Source:Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images 2 of 20
3. Posing With Legends, 1960Source:The Ring Magazine/Getty Images 3 of 20
4. Family Man, 1965Source:Stanley Weston/Getty Images 4 of 20
5. Predicts Five, 1963Source:Kent Gavin/Keystone/Getty Images 5 of 20
6. Married Man, 1963Source:Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images 6 of 20
7. Louth Mouth, 1964Source:Harry Benson/Getty Images 7 of 20
8. Down Goes Liston, 1965Source:Hulton Archive/Getty Images 8 of 20
9. In Living Color, 1966Source:Marka/UIG via Getty Images 9 of 20
10. Rumble in the Jungle, 1974Source:STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images 10 of 20
11. Man of the Press, 1974Source:The Ring Magazine/Getty Images 11 of 20
12. Muhammad Ali Day, 1974Source:The Ring Magazine/Getty Images 12 of 20
13. Taunting Foreman, 1974Source:Agence France Presse/Getty Images 13 of 20
14. The Greatest, 1977Source:British Lion Film Corporation/Getty Images 14 of 20
15. The King and The Champ, 1977Source:Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images 15 of 20
16. Ali’s Girls, 1978Source:Frank Tewkesbury/Evening Standard/Getty Images 16 of 20
17. Ali Taunts Holmes, 1980Source:The Ring Magazine/Getty Images 17 of 20
18. Friends Out of the RingSource:SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images 18 of 20
19. Humanitarian Award, 2002Source:M. Caulfield/WireImage/Getty Images 19 of 20
20. Like Father Like Daughter, 2002Source:Scott Halleran/Getty Images 20 of 20
SOURCE: Twitter, Instagram | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter, Instagram, Getty