AFL star’s beautiful tribute after tragedy
Adelaide Crows star Rory Sloane has welcomed a new addition to his family with his third son Bodhi Leo Sloane's birth revealed in an Instagram post on Wednesday night.
The Crows skipper and his wife Belinda both posted the news on social media and sparked an outpouring of support and congratulations.
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Bodhi is the couple's third son, after Sonny Leo Sloane was born in September 2019.
The boys share the middle name Leo in memory of their older brother Leo Rory Sloane, who was delivered stillborn in August 2018.
After Sonny's birth, the Crows star spoke to Triple M to reveal the significance of his name.
"We've loved Sonny as a name for a long time … we actually had that penned in for Leo if things were different," Sloane said.
"It was really fitting for him coming out a year later … his middle name couldn't be anything other than Leo.
"Sonny will definitely know about his big brother."
The family growing family has continued the trend with Bodhi.
Belinda wrote "Welcome to the world Bodhi Leo Sloane. The perfect third addition to our little boys club" while Rory wrote "Welcome little man Bodhi Leo Sloane. We are all going to have some fun together!"
The posts, which features pictures of the family getting acquainted, have attracted more than 40,000 likes since Wednesday night at time of writing.
Australian cricket star Alex Carey wrote: "Congratulations mate", while Mick Fanning added: "Awesome congrats".
Crows teammate Tex Walker wrote on both posts, adding "My boys" to Rory's post and "Oh how good!" to Belinda's.
Countless other AFL stars and friends of the couple were also quick to react to the news of Bodhi's birth.
The Sloanes have been advocates for reducing the preventable stillbirth rate, having launched a program with Red Nose called Lion Warrior.
A year on from Leo's death in 2019, the Sloanes revealed the program and spoke about their pain in a video for Red Nose.
While the pregnancy appeared to be going well, tragedy struck after 34 weeks.
Belinda said the couple had spent the day at the beach but something wasn't right.
"We got home, had dinner, got into bed, I said to Rory 'I don't think this is right … I haven't felt movement today'," she said.
After going to the hospital to investigate, Belinda recalled her devastation.
"I said to her (the midwife) 'there's not a heartbeat is there' and she just said 'no, unfortunately there's no heartbeat'," she said. "And I can't even really remember the moments that followed to be honest. I couldn't cry, I was just in complete shock."
Rory said it was a blur and he couldn't believe it was happening.
He said didn't believe he could feel so much love and that Leo seemed perfect.
Born at 34 weeks, weighing just over 2.5kg, and 50cm long, the pair said they couldn't believe they wouldn't get to take him home.
Belinda and Rory were able to spend a day and a half with Leo before he was taken away for funeral preparations.
Rory said Leo being taken away was "one of the most heartbreaking moments I've ever felt".
On the second anniversary of Leo's death, Sloane, playing against Geelong, kicked a monster goal from outside the 50m arc at the start of the second quarter before kissing a message written on his wrist and pointing to the sky as teammates gathered around him.
Originally published as AFL star's beautiful tribute after tragedy