Rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen who has been suffering from motor neuron disease since 2011, is reportedly relying on oxygen for survival.
Friends and family have rallied around the former Springbok following his deteriorating health. Joost’s brother, Pieter, confirmed to Huisgenoot on Friday that the 45-year-old star has been on oxygen “for a while”.
Apparently, he has been placed on oxygen for a while now but decided to keep quiet about it. For the most part, much details about his health were not made public for the sake of his two children, Jordan (12) and Kylie (10).
“It’s incredibly tough. He’s not doing well, but he keeps on fighting,” Pieter said on Friday.
The former Springbok was diagnosed with a form of Motor Neuron Disease in May 2011. Judging from recent pictures shared by his estranged wife, singer Amor Vittone, he really needs our prayers as his health is deteriorating.
Van der Westhuizen, who is widely regarded as one of the game’s finest-ever scrumhalves, played 89 Tests for the Springboks between 1993 and 2003. He scored a then-Springbok record 38 tries. However, he’s now restricted within the confines of a hospital bed.
Also, while the player struggles to live, his ex-wife and mother of his kids Amor Vittone had two surgeries after a freak accident that happened while she was celebrating her son’s birthday earlier this week.
According to a Facebook post, singer Amor Vittone was just having fun with her kids and their friends when she tore a ligament while jumping on the trampoline.
Meanwhile, reports had it earlier in the week that the Department of Health had joined forces with Van der Westhuizen in launching a motor neuron disease clinic at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu was supposed to officially open the Joost van der Westhuizen Centre for Neurodegeneration at the hospital this week. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the opening of the centre was postponed.