Joost van der Westhuizen: I’ve lost a doctor and a friend

By admin
24 February 2012

The weekend before his 42nd birthday begins triumphantly for Joost van der Westhuizen. On Friday in Qatar the fundraising campaign for The J9 Foundation, his charity organisation for motor neurone disease (MND) sufferers, is a huge success. 

On Saturday night the staff of the Atlantis the Palm hotel in Dubai surprise him with a rugby ball-shaped cake for his birthday on 20 February.

But on Sunday a Rapport newspaper article appears that deals the former Springbok rugby captain the umpteenth painful blow of the past few years.

In the article Joost’s estranged wife, Amor Vittone, is quoted claiming he’s in a relationship with his neurologist, Dr Jody Pearl.

Then on Sunday afternoon, after the front-page headlines, comes the phone call that once again pulls the rug out from him.

Jody tells him she simply can’t cope with the gossip and mudslinging any more. She will no longer be treating him and might not continue being an adviser on The J9 Foundation’s panel of medical experts.

Joost talks to YOU’s Hannelie Booyens about the role Dr Jody Pearl has played in his life as well as at The J9 Foundation.

Read more in YOU 1 March 2012.

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