AFTER being told he had only days to live more than five years ago, next month's trip to Taiwan for the World Games is a momentous occasion for sumo trainer Ron Jones.
The 58-year-old Tweed Heads South resident recently passed a physical test to travel to China next month to be a trainer with the Australian Sumo Team
Mr Jones owes his life to the Physiotherapy and Dietetics departments at Tweed Hospital, who helped him out of a life confined to a nursing home.
“I was given three days to live about five years ago, and if I survived that they were going to put me in a nursing home,” Mr Jones said.
“I couldn't walk 200 metres. I was in a bad way.”
Mr Jones, uncle of Tweed's own Samantha-Jane “Sammy Sumo” Stacey, was put on a special diet to help shed the extra kilos and given a strict exercise regime.
“It took me about three years before I was comfortable again,” he said.
“Now I can get on the treadmill for a while and I can do weights again. It was impossible for me a few years ago.”
Head of Outpatient Physiotherapy Department Nick Marshall said he was amazed with Mr Jones' determination.
“I have worked with ironmen and with the Queensland and the Australian Surf Life Saving teams, but it has been my achievement with Ron that has bought me the most satisfaction,” Mr Marshall said.
“I was able to watch someone really make a life change and then be rewarded.”
Following the World Games, Mr Jones will travel to Japan to watch Samantha-Jane perform in the All-Western Japan Sumo Championships.