Alan Bond’s family is fearing for the worst as the former high-flying businessman lies in an induced coma after open heart surgery.
His ex-wife Eileen, who is flying from London to Perth to be with the 77-year-old, says he is fighting for his life.
“We’re praying and hoping that he pulls through this,” she told AAP.
“It’s not looking good at the moment.”
It’s understood the tycoon became ill in London last week and decided to return home for the surgery.
In a statement, Mr Bond’s children John, Craig and Jody said he remained in a critical condition in intensive care in Perth.
“On Tuesday, he underwent open heart surgery to replace a heart valve, which was previously replaced almost 20 years ago,” they said.
“He also required repairs to two other valves in his heart.
“We are told his prognosis is at best uncertain. He is in an induced coma and is receiving the best of care.”
Mr Bond is best known for being the first non-American to win the once coveted America’s Cup sailing trophy, and as the biggest fraudster in Australian history.
One of Australia’s richest men during the 1980s, Bond’s fall from grace began in 1992 when he declared bankruptcy.
He was jailed in 1997 for a $1.2 billion fraud involving his takeover of Bell Resources and was stripped of his status as Officer of the Order of Australia, which he had received 13 years earlier.
Mr Bond served three years behind bars before he was released in 2000 after a successful High Court appeal.
In 2008, BRW magazine named him among the 200 wealthiest people in Australia with an estimated wealth of $265 million.
As a 17-year-old, Mr Bond married Eileen in 1955 and they had four children together – John, Craig, Susanne and Jody – before divorcing in 1992.
Susanne was found dead aged 41 in her upmarket Peppermint Grove home in July 2000.
Mr Bond married theatre producer Diana Bliss in 1995. She died in 2012.
Ms Bliss stood by her husband during his jail sentence, making regular trips to prison to visit him.