Argentine football icon Diego Maradona on Friday revealed that his mother Dalma Franco was seriously ill and on a ventilator in a Buenos Aires hospital.
"My mother is on a ventilator and she's very poorly," former Argentina World Cup winner and coach Maradona told broadcaster America.
"Sadly, she is very vulnerable and we're all suffering, seeing her in this state -- she was all right until last week," he added, noting that his mother, known by her nickname Dona Tota, is 81 years old and had been suffering in recent days from a virus.
She also has a history of heart problems, which necessitated a spell in hospital late last year.
"I pray to God he doesn't take her from me," said Maradona, adding he was hoping for a "miracle" from doctors treating her.
"We need her by our side, we're waiting for her to come home."
The 1986 world champion, who last year coached Argentina to a World Cup quarter-final loss to Germany, in May revealed he is to coach United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl.