Doctor confirms Joost's fears

2011-07-27 22:30

Pauli van Wyk

Johannesburg - Joost van der Westhuizen does indeed suffer from a deadly motor neuron disease (MND) and has been given between two and five years to live.

This was confirmed earlier this week by Dr Jody Pearl, a neurologist at the Sunninghill hospital in Sandton.

"Joost was examined by Dr (Erik) Pioro, a leading expert on motor neuron disease at the neuromuscular unit of the Cleveland hospital," said Pearl after they had visited the hospital in Ohio last week.

Almost 200 neurologists work in the hospital.

"Dr Pioro confirmed that Joost does indeed suffer from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), which gives him a 80% chance to live between two and five years," said Pearl.

According to the medical text book, The Merck Manual, ALS is the most common type of motor neuron disease.

It is also known as Lou Gehrig-disease.

ALS causes motor neurons in the brain and spinal chord to shrink and disappear, and with voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralysed.

Pearl says it seems that the illness often occurs in sportsmen, but it is yet to be proven as such.


  • superBul - 2011-07-27 22:39

    Eishhhh to live with a sword like this over your head must be horrible. Joost you gave us great memories, go well son. Hope there is people near you who can show mercy and forgiveness. Jy is in my gedagtes en gebede, Sterkte.

      Bulldozer - 2011-07-28 05:34

      Amen Hayden.

      Northern Stormer - 2011-07-28 07:12

      @Hayden - Totally agree and @ Ascendo Tuum - you most definatelty should not comment on this article as I am almost 100% certain you will get your fair share in due cause !!! You are lost my man - totally lost !!!! - 2011-07-28 08:34

      Thinking of you Joost....our hearts go out to you. As Superbul says-to live with a sword like this over your head....well, there are'nt words that can possibly describe how you must be feeling....May God's strength carry you through this awful time. To those SICKO's commenting below.....well, remember, "who are you to throw stones"? Your harsh, nasty condemnation of Joost does not go unseen......[I call it "the unseen laws of life"]'s heartless people like you who are a waste of oxygen space on this planet!

      roboman1 - 2011-07-28 08:45

      Solid comment and sentiment superbul, but as for Hayden and his primitive religious fundementalist comment, well we all saw in Norway what primitive beliefs bring out in people. My message to you Joost is keep mentally strong, and remember you have a host of people out here who were blessed to watch you perform at the highest level, you achieved what 99% of people cannot achieve, you were at the pinnacle of the world's best in your chosen profession, well done. Give and share time with your children now, and I too will hope that science finds a cure for you.

      Jet master - 2011-07-28 09:30

      J9 - This is terrible news my friend. To all those idiots that thought this was a publicity stunt you can now all go F$&k yourselves. This man was a legend and still is. He has two kids that are going to miss him dearly. I will stand by ur side the whole way through the good and bad times I will always be ur friend.

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-28 09:52

      Regardless of what Joost may have done in his life, this is sad news and we can only but wish him strength and give our best wishes.

      Zion - 2011-07-28 11:14

      Joost, you were never my hero and I never your fan. I am not a christian but somewhere deep I am hoping for a miracle so you may see you children in your old age.

  • NZdreamer - 2011-07-27 22:50

    Oi, this is just awful! It is one thing being struck down with a life threatening disease - but when the whole world is watching your every move and besides your life slipping does your privacy! Extremely sad:(

      Ryan Tunney - 2011-07-28 09:13

      And then on top of it you've got your evil ex-wife trying to steal as much of your money as possible. That's one thing about Amor, she's very good at being false and playing the game. Very sad that Joost fell for her.

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-28 09:53

      @ Ryan - wait for the crocodile tears at the funeral. Hopefully the media leaves Joost to see out his life in peace, and stays the heck away from Amor.

      Ryan Tunney - 2011-07-28 11:17

      Yeah, Amor is a seriously dodgy woman...heartless!!

  • Retha - 2011-07-27 22:57

    I am so sorry Joost. God be with you. May you find peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. I was praying that there would be an easier outcome for you. I shall keep on praying for you and all your loved ones. This must indeed be extremely tough times for you, but with Jesus on your side, you will be able to complete your race with your head held high. Miracles do happen.

      Jack - 2011-07-27 23:10

      Let us pray for the miracle in that he will recover.

      RaySon75 - 2011-07-27 23:44

      Retha and Jack - this might sound crass but the only miracle that can happen in this case is for Joost to end up like Stephen Hawking. This disease is terminal and no “miracle” will cure it I am afraid!

      Jack - 2011-07-28 00:22

      @RaySon . I dont want to enter in a debate about this but I truly believe the word of God. Please understand that I have witnessed the power of prayer first hand and that nobody will change my views on that.

      RaySon75 - 2011-07-28 00:39

      I am not trying to change your view Jack, that is your personal believe and I respect your view point. I know from personal experience what this disease is about , there is no chance (in the years to come with the use of stem cells there may be a chance). To my knowledge not one person in the entire world has ever recovered from this terrible infliction using modern medicine or miracles…

      sipholess - 2011-07-28 01:55

      OH NO !!!!!, More holymolys, save all the religious sentiment for after you die. Good wishes to you and your family, Joost.

      missionman - 2011-07-28 13:10

      dont know why people always have something to say when a Christian man/women comments, and uses ther belief as a basis for the comment. @sipholess, you have chosen the most appropriate name for what you actually are, a big old sexually transmitted desease. Who are you to say anything to a person that serves GOD, just shows how boring ur life is, u worse than kreeky. Wonder who you going to pray to when you have a gun held to your face, hope not to the holiest of hollymollies. And i like Jack also believe in prayer and the power of it, have seen things happen, but each of us have our views about stuff, and i respect ur's @RaySon75 but i dont regard it as wise.

  • Bulkalf - 2011-07-27 23:10

    Joost, net jy sal weet wat jy tans ervaar. Sterkte ! Jy weet waar jou krag vandaan kom. En aan almal wat hom beskuldig het van sensasie soek, dink in die toekoms 2 keer voordat julle mense wat deur ontsettende persoonlike trauma gaan, kritiseer.

  • Mani Thangadurai - 2011-07-27 23:14

    He was a fantastic sportsman who represented his country with dignity and a true legend of the sport, one of my favourite players of all time, and I don't even support South Africa! Shame about some of his antics outside the sport, but I think it's time to show him some compassion as he is now effectively walking through the valley of the shadow of death. I firmly believe that the remainder of his life on earth should be a celebration of his good qualities as a person and the great things he did for his country. OF course, as Shakespeare himself says, "The evil that men do [will live] after them, the good [is often buried] with their bones." It's up to the people of South Africa, in particular rugby fans, to ensure that Joost van der Westhuizen receives nothing but goodwill and magnanimity. His family members should also be consoled and supported.

      BardofAvon - 2011-07-27 23:20

      Well said, Mani. You speak for all of us.

      superBul - 2011-07-28 04:01


      adrian.strydom - 2011-07-28 09:00

      Mani, I think you speak for all sane, compassionate people that have read and commented on this article. Thank you. To those who ridicule people who pass religious comments, and those who ridicule a man that has effectively just received a death sentence.....keep your filthy comments to yourselves, and hope ( I wont say pray ) that you or your loved ones never have to walk in his shoes. I'm not really a religious person at all, but I will never, ever be ables to say with confidence that miracles cannot and have never happened. He was a brilliant sportsman, and despite his human failings, deserves the gratitude and respect that any sporting hero should have from his countryman.

  • Kate Francis - 2011-07-27 23:14

    Ag no shame man!!! Praying for you and loved ones!!!

  • calistus mutambi - 2011-07-27 23:17

    joost, remain strong in this very trying times.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-07-27 23:18

    Wishing you all the best, Joost. One day at a time.

  • anita.kroon - 2011-07-27 23:20

    I have seen it twice - let me know if u would like referrals - u r my hero

  • Corry - 2011-07-27 23:21

    Andre Venter in a wheel chair due to neural complications from a virus, Ruben Kruger dead from brain cancer, now Joost with MNS. 3 Players from the same team with rare neuro morbidities. Is it me or does anyone else think those players from that era were on supplements which may have led to this?

      hawk - 2011-07-28 01:15

      No you idiot you are the only loony fruitloop in the land of lunacy

      grant9 - 2011-07-28 02:42

      Corry, I think you may be right. My son who is a personal trainer tells me steroid use amongst sportsmen is very common. If Jooste would deter youngsters from taking any it would be a great legacy.

      Danie - 2011-07-28 06:51

      Pierre Spies with lung problems, which kept him out of the game for a year or so?

      Shistirrer - 2011-07-28 09:48

      Danie, it's common knowledge that steroid overuse cause the type of lung problems that Pierre Spies had. Serena Williams is now suffering from exactly the same thing.

      BlouBos - 2011-07-28 12:28

      @Shistirrer - I've you know Pierre Spies like i do then you will know that he doesn’t use steroids. He had medical condition called deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) that caused the blood clots in the lungs. It is a life threaten decease i f not treated. Since his schooldays he was well build. He is more of a Gym guy, but not steroids.

      Shistirrer - 2011-07-28 14:26

      @Bloubos: Crap. DVT is not a "condition", it's an event, like a heart attack or a stroke. And it's a clot that forms in the limbs and ends up in the lungs, so it's not a "mysterious lung disease" as BBRU led the world to believe. I say again: it's common knowledge that steroid use/abuse cause blood clots in the lungs.

  • Michael - 2011-07-27 23:21

    Joost a legend! Whatever he did in the privacy of his house or bedroom is now irrelevant. Some say it would be liberating to know when they hand you your bill to «check out»! But I reckon it must be hellish to know, to be powerless to do something about it and above all to loose all dignity. Not being able to bathe yourself, wipe yourself, eat or go to the lavatory without assistance.If you've gotta go, but suffer this indignity is pointless. Joost, I hope you may find comfort and solace in some way. We will remember you from the newsreels and the way you ran out on the field. God bless!

      O-Kay - 2011-07-28 07:40

      Lol, Creeky it's Huisgenoot, not 'Jou'. Sorry to the rest of you, I do feel sympathy for Joost and his children even more so, but I believe in Karma (live by the sword die by the sword) Joost hurt people by being unfaithful to them (no, I am not refering to his equally suspect ex, Amor) and it does not surprise me that suddenly everyone thinks he is a hero. Creeky, I'm with you, but maybe not so vocally! I do feel sorry for his parents and children because it must be terrible to lose someone you love.

  • NZdreamer - 2011-07-27 23:25

    HEY CREEKY!!! you need to stop drinking so much.....and from your comments, I think, your partner has stuffed around behind your you are so bitter, sad and extremely lonely! Get a life, you pathetic little man! And ease up on the booze there!!

  • vanrooyenmara - 2011-07-27 23:31

    Sterkte Joost Ons bid vir jou vir God is NIKS onmoontlik

      grant9 - 2011-07-28 02:55

      Creeky, I would be carefull if I were you. It is written :God is not mocked..." You say you've never touched a drop (of dop) in your life. Mmm. When I was a teenager 40 years ago I was told to never trust a man who doesn't drink.

  • NZdreamer - 2011-07-27 23:53

    ........SORRY CREEKY........My apologies you are a sober, sad, lonely and pathetic little man! Okay, I rest my case. I'm so sorry you were so badly damaged - hope you can come right in time. Maybe that is why your life is so screwed up.....good luck!

  • Janine - 2011-07-27 23:57

    Please ignore Creeky - he is a sad little man with no life. Ag shame.

      NZdreamer - 2011-07-28 00:17

      You are right Janine - but, my bloody boils when people make fun of sick and the, not on! Some forget that saying....what goes around, comes around. But yes, he is so not worth it!

      Danie - 2011-07-28 06:53

      Did you see the Jokes about Amy Winehouse, bet if you read it, you will have a chuckle?

      m@dm@n - 2011-07-28 08:11

      ... the emphasis in your comment being "little man". CreePy has to make up for his own insecurities somehow.

  • Juan Viljoen - 2011-07-28 00:33

    Do not entertain Cheeky, let him be he will get board soon and move to some nurdy sick chatroom elswere, please stick to positive's

      CITIZEN - 2011-07-28 00:47


      grant9 - 2011-07-28 03:07

      Citizen, I have prayed for Jooste and his family. One prayer should do it so I won't keep repeating myself. You know something though : If the Lord was to heal Jooste, people would say he was not ill in the first place.

  • superBul - 2011-07-28 04:10

    Aaagh NO we allowed a guy, Creeky to hijack this conversation. Dont feed the monky. Rather do what Mani Thangadurai - July 27, 2011 at 23:14 Report comment , said He was a fantastic sportsman who represented his country with dignity and a true legend of the sport, one of my favourite players of all time, and I don't even support South Africa! Shame about some of his antics outside the sport, but I think it's time to show him some compassion as he is now effectively walking through the valley of the shadow of death. I firmly believe that the remainder of his life on earth should be a celebration of his good qualities as a person and the great things he did for his country. OF course, as Shakespeare himself says, "The evil that men do [will live] after them, the good [is often buried] with their bones." It's up to the people of South Africa, in particular rugby fans, to ensure that Joost van der Westhuizen receives nothing but goodwill and magnanimity. His family members should also be consoled and supported.

      NZdreamer - 2011-07-28 07:27

      Yip, lol....the chimp has just opened his eyes, and is starting the 'attention seeking behaviour' again.....but good post superBul! Agree whole heartedly!

  • Noah - 2011-07-28 04:57

    Terrible news for one of SA's greatest players ! Far too many religious comments below! Hayden we need to trust in modern medicine and science not jesus. Furthermore this is not the place to air religious dogma ! Frankly its insulting when people say that beleiving in god or jesus will save someone from an illness, same as saying the African potato cures aids!!

      MJ77 - 2011-07-28 07:27

      Clearly your head is simply there to keep your ears apart.

      Shistirrer - 2011-07-28 09:53

      Yes, He did. God works in mysterious ways. We will also not be able to understand why God gave you a sick mind - it could be so you could serve as an example to others of how NOT to be.

      x - 2011-07-28 09:53

      Yes so if he doesn' get healed what does that mean? That he did not pray hard enough? That he does not have enough faith. at MJ77 - do you think Jesus would have said that? I think not.

      Matt :-) - 2011-07-28 10:08

      @ Creeky - how do you know God is the one that gave it to him? And who are you to judge? There are plenty of people who took their affliction and used it to glorify God and do great things. I can't remember the guy's name but there's an Australian guy born without arms or legs ("life without limbs", have a google) but he decided not to wallow in self-pity, but go out there and spread the Good News, has won plenty of souls to Christ and lives an almost-normal life. In contrast to certain perfectly healthy people who sit behind their computers and moan about how everything is so bad, not to mention trash God...

      Sunshine - 2011-07-28 10:54

      Creeky - did you ever thing God spared you and gave him the disease. I wish God could reverse his decision. You a real pratt.

  • Peter - 2011-07-28 05:27

    My prayers are with you, Joost. My best advice: become a vegetarian, to increase your body's ability to stave off (maybe even halt) the effect of this disease.

  • Joshua Austin - 2011-07-28 06:04

    Sorry to hear that this Bok legend is not going to live much longer.

  • Bulldozer - 2011-07-28 06:09

    Ek wonder wat Amore nou vir haarself te sê het.

  • Taurus15 - 2011-07-28 06:38

    God will be you Judge Joost, just like for the rest of us. May He be with you through it all. GOD Knows Best...

  • BellaMia - 2011-07-28 06:55

    Don't respond to Creekys comments, he wants to be noticed! He obviously isn't very educated because he doesn't know how to spell properly, maybe try using spell check!!!!

  • Morph - 2011-07-28 07:03

    My grandfather had it. So sorry Joost. Strength.

  • MJ77 - 2011-07-28 07:28

    God speed Joost.

  • Charmaine - 2011-07-28 07:48

    I don't follow rugby does not interest me, and I know you have done a few things wrong in yor life as we all have yours is just made public - BUT MND is an ugly ugly sickness, my favourite Uncle died of it and I don't wish it on anyone.

  • Chief Belebe - 2011-07-28 07:50

    @Ascendo Tuum & Northern Stormer Guys guys plis dont find mockery in the weak. This isn't funny at all. The bible says that God was there when Jesus Christ went all the mockery and crusification,yet He was delivered when he ressurected from death and sits with His Father in heaven. Joost, God is right there with you all the way and i trust that as i speak now He the Almighty one is working in you. Please be at peace and dont despair God is the custodian of our lives! God bless you always.

  • Gardener - 2011-07-28 07:50

    Dude, sterkte en good luck!

  • Wanita Fisher - 2011-07-28 08:02

    One thing is certain - people die, it does not matter who u are, what u have achieved or how much money u have! However, no one deserves to die young and everyone deserves to see their children grow up. Some of u need to get a life as most of u have skeletons in the closet!!!

  • Dips - 2011-07-28 08:03

    Common guys, don't argue with Creeky. He's got alot of issues as a normal person does not talk like him. He is either a racist with serious mental issues, maybe he hates Joost personally, maybe he hates mnet, who knows but it is not normal for a human being to carry so much hatred and he does not stop. He may even be demon posessed as only Satan hates mankind as much as Creeky.

  • Jon JJ - 2011-07-28 08:15

    Wonder what the money grabing cockroach Amor will have to say about that? I bet she's going put pressure on her lawyers to get as much out of Joost as possible. She's a reall horrible woman!! Just watch the gold rush from this stupid money brabbing bitch!!

  • Kok - 2011-07-28 08:22

    Sterkte Joost.

      Kok - 2011-07-28 08:24

      Joost was my ma se gunsteling speler.

  • worried - 2011-07-28 08:27

    Dear Joost, you served your country well and will always be remembered as one one the best Boks ever to play the game. May you find peace in this difficult time and may friends, family and God carry you through this. To Creeky, my friend you are missing the point here. We all made mistakes in our lives. I made many of them and often still do. As you mentioned, we are human afterall. They say the wheel turns and I think one should never joke about death or fatal diseases. He has loved ones, just like you do. Imagine if alot of people comment such hurtfull things about you if something like this has to happen to you, which I really not wish upon anyone. Be strong Joost, and keep your head high, you have alot be proud about and reached things in life the most of us can only dream about. Go well

  • Ryan Tunney - 2011-07-28 08:31

    Watch rotten Amor speed up her attempt to get his money now. That is a horrible woman!!

      Cuzin - 2011-07-28 14:02

      I bet ya she already invited Huisgenoot to do an interview with her, so she can tell the world: How this is effecting ME, what's gonna happen to ME?, why is Joost doing this to ME. ME, ME, ME, ME, ME. Oh and of course show her new revamped kitchen or something.

  • Dnt8 - 2011-07-28 08:32


  • Dion.Mouton - 2011-07-28 08:32

    @creeky. I hope you die a painful death and i will then stand there and pi55 on you grave you idiot!!

      Bulldozer - 2011-07-28 09:36

      Dion, don't stoop to his level. He will have to answer to a Higher power when the time comes.

  • Dion.Mouton - 2011-07-28 08:34

    @creeky. I hope youe death is a painful one, then I will stand over your grave and Pi55 on it while laughing loud. YOU IDIOT

  • lulu - 2011-07-28 08:35

    My prayers are with you in this turbulent time. Keep the faith... PS 23

  • pcundertaker - 2011-07-28 08:36

    Sterkte Joost, ek weet dit is nie maklik nie. Ek sal bid dat God jou genees, onthou jy is spesiaal vir Hom, Hou altyd aan God vas want die dae sal moeiliker raak. Mag God jou "bless'

  • Dan - 2011-07-28 08:44

    Sad and very unfortunate news. I hope Amor and all those ant-Bulls/anti-Joost bloggers are now happy and satisfied with their pathetic views on life. Maybe Amor can get some miliage out of this as well.

  • Jimmyfuse - 2011-07-28 08:56

    Wishing you and your family enduring strength Joost!!

  • nompumelelo.netshipale - 2011-07-28 09:13

    we all face our trials and tribulations in life and unfortunately for others they have to face them while everybody watches on. we al hav our days numbere we just don knoe about it. Joost 5 years can be easily be 10 the people making diagnosis are not God they are doing it based on tests and scince. God does his based on knowledge and you. hang in there.

  • Nawe - 2011-07-28 09:14

    I'm not the greatest fan of Afrikaaners but joost is just a legend in his own right.

  • Greegs - 2011-07-28 09:17

    Not a nice thing to happen to anyone! Sorry to hear this Joost and hope u doing OK

  • robipenburg - 2011-07-28 09:27

    people have slammed you in every way over the past few years, but those who cast the first stone better look in the mirror and think ...... make the most out of life and live each day to the fullest.

  • Jet master - 2011-07-28 09:29

    J9 - This is terrible news my friend. To all those idiots that thought this was a publicity stunt you can now all go F$&k yourselves. This man was a legend and still is. He has two kids that are going to miss him dearly. I will stand by ur side the whole way through the good and bad times I will always be ur friend.

  • Jackie - 2011-07-28 09:34

    it is more interesting reading the comments than the actual artical. Fact is we all have to die. Pity we're not all celebrities so that everyone can hear about it.

  • Barry - 2011-07-28 09:48

    We will pray for you and believe God for a miracle He can do all things and I totally trust Him

  • jk - 2011-07-28 09:55

    goodluck joost. what about the lovely amore...!??

  • TAMRAY - 2011-07-28 10:14

    Nobody deserves to suffer, no matter what they have done in their life! I believe in forgiveness, which means also to forget! Prayers to Joost, his family and his children, who will now be without a Father!

      Daemos1 - 2011-07-28 11:28

      I think Mugabe should suffer and Miley Cyrus