Johannesburg - Ex-Bok Frik du Preez joked that he had to be rescued by two “bleddie” women after Trish Armstrong and Ina Strijdom visited him in hospital on Saturday evening.
Armstrong, director special projects of the Tshwane metro police and Strijdom, a councillor, resuscitated Du Preez after he collapsed at the Leriba Lodge in Centurion last Thursday.
“The first few minutes beside his hospital bed were very emotional and we all cried,” Strijdom told Netwerk24.
“His wife grabbed and hugged us.”
Armstrong said after the initial teary reunion, they started chatting about various subjects - including the state of Du Preez's former beloved Bulls.
“We spoke about his smallholding, rugby and the poor form of the Bulls, which almost gave him another heart attack! What a wonderful man. It was like a child talking to Superman. He’s as strong as an ox!”
Armstrong, who did a first aid course “when I was still in my 20s”, performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when she arrived at the Leriba Lodge and found Du Preez lying outside the restaurant.
“I asked Ina to call an ambulance and then to hold Frik’s head back.”
Strijdom has described her contribution to the team effort as “less than 20%”.
She had been at the lodge earlier that afternoon for a meeting with a mayoral committee member when Peet du Preez, Leriba’s owner, invited them to stay for a wine tasting event.
“The next moment in walked Frik du Preez and we were introduced to him.
“I hadn’t even known that he was there for a golf day.”
Strijdom sent a picture of her and Du Preez to Armstrong, who she’d already invited to join them, with the message: “Kyk net wie is hier.” (“Look who is here”)
Armstrong didn’t wait for a second invitation and drove from Pretoria North to meet her childhood hero.
Du Preez, meanwhile, received a call and went outside to get documents which were to have been delivered for him.
“The next moment someone shouted: ‘Ina come help’! I got such a fright and rushed outside.”
There she found Armstrong who had already started emergency treatment.
In hospital Du Preez thanked them with tears in his eyes when they visited him, Strijdom said.
“We also relived the humorous moments of that evening. I ran from the light into the dark only to trip over Frik du Preez’ size 14 feet and fall. And after all the excitement at Leriba, Trish’s car keys went missing. They eventually were found in Frik’s jacket in hospital. “
She said Du Preez joked about having been rescued by two “bleddie vroumense” ("damn women").
“But recalling the incident, it had been an honour to help. I thanked God for having us in the right place at the right time.”
Frik’s wife, Bes, said they were extremely grateful to Armstrong and Strijdom.
“We will stay friends for the rest of our lives.”