Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
20 Jan 2017
4:42 pm

I’m not placed on oxygen, tweets Joost van der Westhuizen

Citizen Reporter

The former rugby player thanked everyone for caring but emphasised he was 'fine and still going strong'.

Joost van der Westhuizen's Twitter picture. Picture: @9Joost on Twitter

A report surfaced on Friday that former Springbok player Joost van der Westhuizen was reliant on oxygen for his survival.

YOU reported that Van Der Westhuizen, who has motor neuron disease, has been reliant on oxygen for some time, but the news was kept quiet in a bid to protect his two children.

But on Friday afternoon, a post on the Joostvdwesthuizen @9Joost Twitter account aimed to dispel news that he had been placed on oxygen, saying that he was “fine and still going strong”.

The initial report surfaced after a number of fans, friends and supporters of Van der Westhuizen took to social media over the past few days to say they were keeping him in their thoughts.

The Joost van der Westhuizen Supporters Page on Facebook posted the following message on Friday:

Toks van der Linde also posted on Facebook on Thursday:

Which he then followed with a photo of Van Der Westhuizen in his rugby-playing heyday:

On Wednesday, the J9 Foundation, formed by Van Der Westhuizen in a bid to help others suffering with motor neuron disease (MND), took to Facebook to announce that the department of health “is now joining the fight against MND” with Van der Westhuizen to launch a motor neuron disease clinic at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

“This is not the work of J9 Foundation as such but rather a separately run organisation however most of your ice bucket challenge donations went towards research and the start to this centre,” the J9 Foundation – Joost vd Westhuizen post on Facebook read.

“The centre and ourselves share some mutual directors therefore the fight is towards the same as us, research into a cure and better care for those living with the disease. We will support each other. Special mention must go to Joost for never giving up and to Odette who has fought with everything to get this going.

“Together we can conquer MND.”

TimesLive since reported that the centre’s opening by health MEC Qedani Mahlangu was postponed.

Caxton News Service

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.