Cape Town - Legendary former Springbok scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen, who suffers from motor neuron disease, has been placed on oxygen to survive.
Joost’s brother, Pieter, told Huisgenoot on Friday that the 45-year-old former Blue Bull has been on oxygen “for a while”.
At first they tried to keep it quiet for the sake of his two children, Jordan (12) and Kylie (10), but understand that the public is concerned for Joost's well-being.
“It’s incredibly tough. He’s not doing well, but he keeps on fighting,” Pieter said on Friday.
Earlier in the week, the TimesLIVE website reported 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 to officially open the Joost van der Westhuizen Centre for Neurodegeneration at the hospital this week, but the opening of the centre was postponed.
Van der Westhuizen, who has been ill since 2011, played 89 Tests for the Springboks between 1993 and 2003.
He scored a then-Springbok record 38 tries and is widely regarded as one of the game’s finest-ever scrumhalves.