Doctor feared for Joost

2011-05-13 07:27
Joost van der Westhuizen (Gallo)
Pauli van Wyk - Beeld

Johannesburg - Joost van der Westhuizen's physician and friend, Dr Henry Kelbrick says he feared something could be wrong with the former Bok captain.

GALLERY: Joost van der Westhuizen through the years

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“Joost and I spent the Easter weekend together at Sun City. We wrestled in the swimming pool and I felt that his right arm was a lot weaker than his left one.

“I said nothing, but kept a close eye on him. On the Thursday afternoon I realised his tongue was slurring a bit and he also mentioned to me that it sometimes happens out of the blue. That’s when I realised there’s trouble.”

At 08:00 on the Tuesday morning after the long-weekend, Kelbrick took van der Westhuizen to Dr Pieter Kritzinger, a neurologist in Pretoria.

A serious muscle-related motor neuron disease was then diagnosed.

A second neurologist in Johannesburg confirmed the disease, said Kelbrick.

In the meantime, many tests are being conducted on Van der Westhuizen to try and determine the cause of the disease. Apparently, he would have been hospitalised on Thursday night to start treatment.

According to Kelbrick, van der Westhuizen’s condition is not the same as what the rugby player André Venter had.

Venter had a serious viral infection, which damaged his nervous system to such an extent that he was paralysed in his lower body. He has since recovered well.

“Joost has it, much, much worse. It still remains a mystery in the medical field as to why people get this type of disease. It is not drug-, stress-, or alcohol related,” said Kelbrick.

Read more on:    joost van der westhuizen

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