Rugby

Frail Joost in wheelchair

2013-04-14 14:52
Joost van der Westhuizen (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen's condition has deteriorated to such an extent that he sometimes needs a wheelchair.

Van der Westhuizen, 42, suffers from motor neuron disease (MND), which he was diagnosed with two years ago.

According to Rapport, Van der Westhuizen looked very frail when his friend Quinton van der Walt pushed him in a wheelchair at the launch of politician Tony Leon's new book in Johannesburg on Wednesday night.

His hands reportedly hung lifeless on his lap as he stayed in the wheelchair while chatting to guests.

Two weeks ago the former scrumhalf still attended the opening of the Springbok Experience rugby museum in Cape Town.

However, he was not present at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night along with other former Bulls players for the union's 75th anniversary celebrations.

Nathania de Kock, spokesperson for Van der Westhuizen's J9-foundation, confirmed that the 89-Test veteran recently started using a wheelchair, even though he can still walk.

"It depends. It's a day-to-day thing. He uses it when he attends a functions which get very exhausting. But his fighting spirit is still as strong as ever."

De Kock did not explain why Van der Westhuizen wasn't present at the Bulls' celebrations.

"All I know is that he decided not to go," she said.

Read more on:    joost van der westhuizen  |  rugby
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