09 September 2009
Interview with Tony David
by DFA Webmaster
Allan: Hi Tony, nice to catch up with you again and allowing you to make lunch for me as we chat.
Tony: Hi mate, yes good to meet up again and yes the pumpkin soup is on the gas top.
Allan: Tony, the last time I visited you, you were looking rather grey and not well at all, yet today you seem to have some colour back in your face does that mean you are feeling a little better today than last time?
Tony: Yes, I do feel a bit better today, maybe it was because I knew you were coming to see me and help me with my dart practice :
Allan: Yeah - right!
Allan: Onto more serious stuff now, mate. Thanks a million for agreeing to do this interview today, especially when I know how quickly you get tired, so I will try and keep it short unless of course you want to fill us all in on how you are progressing and what things are happening in your life today.
Tony: No problems - where shall I start?
Allan: Okay, your last appearance playing for Australia when was that.
Tony: The last I represented Australia would have been in October 2008 at the Asia Pacific Cup.
Allan: Back then in October how were you feeling at the time as I do remember seeing you not long after your return and to put it quiet mildly mate you looked like crap :
Tony: Yes and I felt like it too. In fact when I reflect back to 2008 I didn't feel well a lot of the time as my platelet levels were very low which is from the medially acquired Hepatitis C from back in 1985.
Allan: You were born with Haemophilia were you not?
Tony: Yes, I was born with Factor 9 Haemophilia. I was required to have 2 - 3 injections of Factor medication per week to normalise my blood condition.
My bleeding episodes generally affected my right knee, right elbow and left ankle, however my muscles became damaged from this also.
Allan: It is a wonder you were even able to throw a dart let alone be a World Champion.
Allan: In your lead up to the 2002 Embassy final what were some of your achievements, I know that many people may remember them however lets go through it again.
1995 - Won the Australian Masters
1996 - Runner-up Pacific Masters
1995 - 1997 Won Ansett Challenge
1999 - First time that I represented Australia in Durban South Africa
2000 - Runner-up Philippine open singles
2000 - Won Philippines doubles
2001 - Runner-up Japan Open
2001 - Debut Embassy went out in first round to Andy Fordham
2002 - Won Embassy [now known as Lakeside].
Allan: Do you remember whom you played to get into the final.
Ritchie Davies - Wales
Marko Pusa - Finland
Bob Taylor - England I was 4/2 down at the break.
Martin Adams - England
And defeated Mervyn King in the final 6/4
Also in 2002 Won the World Darts Trophy and also Won the Doeland Grand Masters and again defeated Mervyn King 6/4
Allan: Great results indeed.
Tony: In 2003, I went to the Embassy to defend the World No1 and World Champion Title. I defended it until the quarter final, I think I am the only person that has done that so far.
Also in 2003, I represented Australia at Epinal, France in the World Cup.
Won the French Open where I defeated Bill Davies of the USA 6/4
Allan: Yes, I can see some of that gold and silverware in your cabinet from here.
Tony: [just smiles]
Allan: 2004, anything come to mind?
Tony: In 2004 and onward, my health started to deteriorate for some unknown reason. I know that I knew that there was just something happening within me.
Allan: In 2008 there were some big changes to your life, take us through them from the time of when you were to be getting those injections that just about cost you your life. I think that was in October if I remember correctly.
Tony: Yes, October 28th, and it was the day that I had been dreading for what seemed like an eternity. I had resigned myself to do the Pegulated Interferon and Ribavirin course which is a 48 week course of which there was no escaping, the looming insidious nature of Hepatitis C. It had progressed to stage 4 Liver Disease within me.
Allan: Yes I remember you telling me and I also remember how positive you were about the whole thing.
Tony: I am a fighter nobody deals with chronic disabilities apart from the afflicted and it is then up to the Champion mindset from within to take over and go for the finishing line, in my case I have overcome my disabilities to lift two World Titles against the best able bodied players - it is all about guts determination and having the single mindset to work; that is to practice very, very hard to reach the Ultimate Goal of Excellence for oneself - at the end of the day, Salvation Lies within each and every person.
It is all about living for the best possible outcome - that is turning negatives into positives.
Allan: This sounds like a very painful exercise.
Tony: I would not recommend this course for my worst enemy as I believe he/she would not be able to cope with the upcoming problems associated by this horrible disease - Remembering that it is the disease that makes the Champion inside me. This is merely another lesson for which I need to learn. Once learnt, will make me even more formidable than before.
Allan: Obviously you must have felt anxious about this treatment, surely.
Tony: Yes my first lesson was the anxiety that I felt towards the treatment - more to the point the 1cm very fine needle (like a diabetic - which I needed to administer into the fat on my belly) traumatised by needles and hospitals all my life did not help with this. Again I felt like I was a human guinea pig with so much uncertainty it was driving me mad.
This was then refuelled, when I was told how the medication was drawn up and shown what I was required to do, and then sent home with my box of goodies. All afternoon I was tense and anxious trying to forget what was inevitably crashing towards me.
Allan: OK so when did you build up the courage to tackle yet another obstacle?
Tony: At 8:30pm that night I took 3 Ribavirin tablets and within 5 mins of taking my throat was very dry and I felt slightly nauseous - my taste was altered as well. 9:00 pm I sat down with my beautiful fiancée Natalie and watched the DVD showing how to administer the peg Intron. Finally, I plucked the courage and was immediately surprised how easy it was to put the needle in - next was to push the button and take the dose.
All in all it took less than 12 seconds and was absolutely pain free.
Allan: Wow, 12 seconds, that must have felt good that the pain had gone that quickly. I guess your emotions were running high.
Tony: Yes breaking down crying with a crashing of all my emotions of the realisation of how stupid I had been, Natalie nursed me with a similar realisation of finally he understands now the FEAR has disappeared.
I apologised to Nat for being so silly and stubborn - I realised that I had almost frightened the life from me, the cliché "Ignorance is Bliss" comes to mind and "What will be will be". To have the mindset of being empty allows the connection of true Salvation and Healing from within - neither positive nor negative thought; it is this realisation of a still mind that is of Essence.
Allan: Did you have any re-actions to the medication?
Tony: At 3:00 am the next morning I awoke with uncontrollable shivers - I was absolutely freezing yet warm to feel (the FLU). Had a warm shower and two Panamax tablets and went to sleep.
I awoke around 7:00 am feeling like a cloud was over me, a head ache yet OK.
I had toast and vegemite for breakfast glass V8 berry juice - and then took the Ribivirin tablets - 20 mins later I was again hot and cold and could not function - I stayed in bed all day - struggled to open my eyes and drag myself out of bed.
I just ached all over (never in my life have I really ever had the flu - if this is what it's like I'm glad I never had it).
Allan: You have Natalie, a close family and also a good circle of friends Tony, they would have been there for you as much as they could have been.
Tony: Mum and Dad my brother Peter has and will be a big help to me and is a large inspiration towards my positive mindset as he has gone through the program and eradicated the virus. Natalie constantly checked on me from work.
I have all these wonderful people looking out for me and I am so lucky. They are all what makes and defines who I am, they are my world.
My next battle has just commenced I will fight the hardest fight to eradicate this terrible lesson for which I am just a student learning - positive mindsets are so important with the nurture of good family and friends. My world is a great place and essentially worth battling for.
Allan: I remember one time calling you after you had commenced this treatment and I could barely hear you as you sounded very weak and not able to talk much at all.
Tony: Yes after one week of injections I was to hospital due to coughing and passing blood. After consultation with the doctors it was decided that a liver transplant was required.
Allan: That's when they placed you on the waiting list for a donor.
Tony: On the 6th January this year  I was admitted into Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital [SCGH] for one week of tests for a liver transplant.
I had to have a physical, psychological and profiling tests. I met with the surgeons, nurses and staff and their rehabilitation centre for after the procedure. Also had an MRI, heart scans, CT scan etc. and of course more blood tests.
Allan: So when did the big phone call come through?
Tony: Saturday 21st February we [Nat and I] were at home when the phone rang at about 7.50pm. Nat answered the call and I said to her without knowing who was on the other end of the phone "Is that my transplant call"?
Nat said it is the hospital and they want to speak to you.
It was the SCGH on the phone and they said that they had a compatible liver and did I want to go ahead with the transplant. Naturally I said yes!
At 10pm that night I was admitted into hospital and at 8am Sunday the 22nd I was wheeled down to the operating room.
The procedure took 8 hrs.
Allan: I have seen the scar that they have given you, something like a Mercedes Benz logo. How soon was it that you were up and about?
Tony: Four hours after the operation they had me standing [with no darts though]
Allan: How long were you in hospital?
Tony: I was in hospital in the ICU ward for thirteen days.
Allan: I guess it was in early stage however, how did you really feel?
Tony: Actually two days after the operation I didn't realise just how sick I actually was as I felt somewhat better in myself.
Allan: Well lastly, is there anything that you wish to say to the many people and fans out there.
Tony: I want to say a million thanks to many, many people that have written to me via email, sent cards and well wishes. Thank you each and every one of you I appreciate your prayers and thoughts.
Allan: Well Tony, thanks for giving me the time to come and visit you and to get this down on paper for all to read on the Darts Federation of Australia web site and also to give some insight of where Tony David is at today. We truly appreciate your time and wish you a speedy recovery.
Tony: Thanks mate it was nice to be able to share.
Today Tony is having ongoing treatment and is hopeful to hit the oche again one day soon, from all of us at the Darts Federation of Australia we wish Tony a speedy recovery.