Man witnesses sunrise from hot air balloon two days before dying

2017-04-11 13:04
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bloemfontein – Two days before losing his battle against dementia and motor neuron disease (MND) – the same disease that claimed the life of former Springbok Joost van der Westhuizen – a Bloemfontein businessman was able to tick another wish off his bucket list by flying over the Magaliesberg in his wheelchair in a hot air balloon, Netwerk24 reported.

Johan "Sakkie" van der Merwe, 44, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of MND in April last year. He died in his home in Bainsvlei, outside Bloemfontein, on Friday.

- Health24: Motor neurone disease

His wife Anita, 43, said Johan had used his last ounce of energy on things he enjoyed, instead of lying in bed and mulling over his illness.

She said Johan’s face glowed after he saw the sun rise over the breathtaking mountain in the hot air balloon.

"He did what he wanted to until his death, and kept to his bucket list."

'Life's too short for trivialities'

Anita hoped people would use Johan’s life as an example.

"People have to realise that life is too short for everyday trivialities. There are more important things in life."

She said Johan was an unbelievably positive person with a passion for life. He was an adrenaline junkie who wanted to do everything possible.

"His family always came first. It was only God who was more important to him," Anita said.

She said his family was very important to him, and that was why he wanted to die at home with his wife and children.

Their children, Anica, 13, Ihan, 10 and Isa, 9, were sad about his death, but happy for Johan to be in heaven, where he could speak, laugh, and be strong again.

Anita added that after Johan’s death the children had said: "Thanks for the time you were our dad. It was the best time of our lives."

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  good news  |  health

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.