CRISTIANO RONALDO’S mum revealed her ten-year-old grandson Cristiano Jr begged her: “Grandma don’t die.”
Dolores Aveiro also confessed she was so unsure she would pull through after her stroke the first thing she did when she woke up was telling her eldest daughter Elma the code for the safe where she kept her valuables.
The 66-year-old, who was rushed to hospital in her native island of Madeira on last spring, said in an emotional TV interview in which she broke down in tears: “I got up to go to the bathroom and fainted and fell.
“When I came round I tried to get up but realised the left side of my body was paralysed.
“I called my partner Jose Andrade and told him I wasn’t feeling well and asked him to dial 999.
“I don’t remember getting to the hospital.”
The mum-of-four, who has also battled breast cancer, told interviewer Maria Botelho Moniz on Portuguese TV station TVI: “My children gave me a lot of strength.
“It was hard and I thought it was the end for me.
“When I saw my eldest grandson Cristianinho come into my room to visit me, it was a huge shock for me.
“I begged God not to take me, I want to see my grandchildren grow up and that’s what happened. There was a lot of faith there, but it was hard.”
She added: “I saw all my children cry, although they didn’t want to worry me.
“I’ve been operated on both breasts and that was never as hard as this has been.
“When Cristianinho saw me cry so much, he told me, ‘Grandma don’t die.’
“It moved me. When he phones he always asks me if I’m better. I live for my family, especially my grandchildren.”
Dolores was rushed to Madeira’s Nelio Mendonca Hospital on March 3 last year after suffering an ischemic stroke, caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel in the brain.
She was later transferred to a private hospital on the island.
Ronaldo flew from his home in Italy to be by her side.
Revealing her memory was not affected by her health scare but she was worried she would not not survive, Dolores admitted: “When I opened my eyes and saw my eldest daughter by her side, I didn’t know what might happen to me and and said, ‘Elma, I haven’t given you the code for my safe.’
Life is taking one day at a time
“I gave her the number, just like that, despite her telling me: ‘Mum, I don’t want to know the number.’
“When she tried it, the safe opened and that made me sure my memory was as good as ever.”
Dolores, who is still recovering, stressed the importance of an early diagnosis for health problems.
And she also gave credit to her superstar son and Juventus forward Cristiano for helping.
She added: “It’s so important to alert people who feel something’s wrong to get to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.
“In my case it was five minutes. Cristiano phoned the doctor from Italy, then I was operated on, thanks God. Many people don’t have the same luck as me.
“My recovery is gradual. I have physiotherapy, I walk, I had a few months of discomfort.
“I left hospital walking but I was affected on my left side, my mouth, my leg, my speech.
“Now I’m feeling good and bit by bit I’ll get back to being 100 per cent.
“I have to be careful about what I eat and I can’t wear high heels. I use simpler clothes, things without buttons.
“Life is taking one day at a time.”
Dolores spoke on the anniversary of her near-death experience and stressed the magnitude of the scare.
She said: “A year ago today I saw my life almost running between my fingers.
“And luckily I managed to hold on to a light, a light that pulled me up, a light that stubbornly insisted that it was just another obstacle to be overcome and another story of overcoming to tell.
“I never spoke openly about what actually happened, just because I recovered to almost 100 per cent people think that nothing happened or that the scare I gave my children and those who really love me was small.”