Williams's son is fighting for his life
He undergoes bone marrow transplant
John Henry Williams, the son of Hall of Famer Ted Williams, is fighting for his life in a West Coast hospital after undergoing a bone marrow transplant recently, and his younger sister, Claudia, was the donor, according to friends and associates of John Henry Williams.
Williams, 35, was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia in October. He underwent chemotherapy for several weeks but did not improve. Doctors caring for Williams recommended the transplant over the past few days.
"He's very, very sick," said a friend of the family. "Everything that can be done is being done. It's been a tough ordeal for John Henry and Claudia. Claudia has been very courageous because it's a very painful procedure for the donor."
The family sources indicated it would take 5-6 weeks to determine if the transplant is successful.
Ted Williams's brother died of leukemia when he was in his 40s.
John Henry had been the center of a turbulent and controversial decision after his father's death, July 5, 2002. John Henry had his father's body taken to a Scottsdale, Ariz., cryonics lab for freezing, touching off a battle with his half-sister, Bobby-Jo Ferrell, Ted's oldest daughter. Ferrell said her father wanted to be cremated. Ferrell abandoned a legal quest to free her father's body from cryonic freezing five months after his death at a court hearing in Florida. At the hearing, Ferrell received $215,000 from the deceased slugger's trust, as did John Henry and Claudia.
John Henry tried his hand at professional baseball in summer 2002 with a low-level Sox minor league team, but his attempt ended after two games when he crashed into a camera well and fractured a rib.
He tried to revive his career in the independent leagues, but many baseball experts believed he started his career too late. When he agreed to terms with the Schaumburg (Ill.) Flyers of the Northern League in February 2003, he said in a written statement, "I only regret that my teacher, my mentor, and best friend, the greatest hitter who ever lived, is unable to accompany me. I dedicate this day, this season, and my career in memory of my dad."
© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.