Fiancée heartbroken after farm-attack victim dies shortly before wedding

2019-06-26 12:44
Hanlie Barnard and Johan van Wyk. (Photo: Supplied)

Hanlie Barnard and Johan van Wyk. (Photo: Supplied)

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"At least he's not in pain anymore," a heartbroken Hanli Barnard (47) told YOU on Wednesday. Her fiancé, Johan van Wyk (41), died in the Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Johan was shot and seriously wounded in a farm attack in November near Lanseria, west of Johannesburg. They'd had to postpone their wedding date twice since then.

No chance to say goodbye

The attack happened a few weeks before their intended wedding day, December 15.

Johan was in the Helen Joseph Hospital for two months and their wedding was postponed to June 15. But just a few days before the big day was to happen, his health deteriorated and he was readmitted to hospital.

The date was then moved to 6 July.

But Hanli told YOU "someone from the hospital" called her on Tuesday morning, June 25, and told her Johan was very weak. She "needed to come as soon as possible".

But 15 minutes before she reached his hospital bed, Johan died of a heart attack, giving her no chance to say goodbye.

Setback after setback

Johan, a widower, and his three kids, as well as Hanli and her two children had been getting ready to sit down for dinner on November 11 when they were attacked by four armed robbers. The intruders fired 25 shots, hitting Johan nine times.

"The blood was spraying out of him like from a garden hose," Hanli recalls of the moments following the attack.

Johan had collapsed on the porch and she thought he was dead. So did the four attackers. "They pointed to the decorations lying on the table and asked what it was. When I told them it was for our wedding, one of the robbers kicked Johan and asked me why I wanted to marry a dead man."

The men then made off with TVs, laptops and cellphones.

'All just too much'

Against the odds, Johan survived and was discharged from hospital at the end of January, though he had to return periodically for additional treatment as an outpatient.

A week before their second wedding date, YOU visited the couple. Johan was still in a lot of pain. Though he struggled and was heavily reliant on crutches, he was determined to walk down the aisle with Hanli.

After YOU's visit, Johan started suffering intensified pain in his hip and abdomen. By June 11 he was vomiting nonstop.

"I realised I needed to get him to the hospital as soon as possible. But I still believed the wedding would go ahead," Hanli said at the time.

She says that the Tuesday when Johan was admitted to hospital was the last time she spoke to him. He was put in a medically induced coma and treated for sepsis.

He died two weeks later.

"His body just couldn't cope with the pain anymore," Hanli says. "It had all just become too much for him."

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