Joost in ‘ serious condition’ after collapsing

2009-06-29 00:00

FORMER Springbok Joost van der Westhuizen is in a “very serious, but stable condition” in the Sunninghill Hospital in Johnnesburg “following either a heart attack or a stroke or both”.

Bridget van Oerle, Van der Westhuizen’s media spokeswoman, said the possibility that he may have suffered brain damage “cannot be ruled out”.

Late on Saturday night, Van der Westhuizen (38) was walking friends who had been visiting him at his home in the Dainfern estate to their car when he “simply collapsed”, said Mike Bolhuis, the investigator hired by Van der Westuizen to look into the sex video in which the ex-Bok allegedly appears with a stripper.

Doctors will be able to determine only this week exactly what happened to him and also what damage his body has suffered.

Van der Westhuizen’s wife, singer Amor Vittone, is in severe shock and is receiving “medical assistance”.

Van Oerle says that Vittone is doing well in the circumstances.

According to Bolhuis, Van der Westhuizen complained that he wasn’t feeling well while socialising with his friends on Saturday evening.

“Sometimes he held his chest. When the guests wanted to leave for home at about 11 o’clock, Joost walked them to their car. On the way there he simply collapsed. Fortunately, the people with him knew a lot about first aid.

“They applied CPR while waiting for the paramedics. Joost was no longer breathing at that stage. Technically speaking he was dead.

“He was taken to hospital, where he was admitted to the ICU. He was connected to life-support equipment. This morning his condition had improved somewhat and the ventilator was turned off.

“Joost regained consciousness, but can’t speak and cannot remember anything. In fact, he is not yet responding at all,” said Bolhuis.

Asked whether the pressure on Van der Westhuizen since the disclosure of the video could have led to the incident, Bolhuis said he could not speculate on that.

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