Joost van der Westhuizen’s brother Pieter van der Westhuizen has opened up about his brother’s final moments alive after the 45-year-old passed away at his family home in Johannesburg last week.
van der Westhuizen, who lost his extensive battle with motor neuron disease last Monday, was reportedly taken off life support at his family home after years of treatment to combat the debilitating neurological disease.
The decision to turn off the ventilator was reportedly Joost’s own decision with Pieter telling You Magazine that his brother had only a couple of weeks left to live.
‘He told me, “I’m tired now, I want to go home [to heaven],’ said Pieter (via SA Rugby Mag).
Joost reportedly left the hospital to return home where it was his wish to pass away peacefully in his family home.
The former Springbok scrum-half had already said his goodbyes to his estranged wife Amor, and their children Jordan (13) and Kylie (10) over the weekend before saying farewell to his mother Mariana, his father Gustav and his brother Pieter at his family home in Johannesburg.
According to Pieter, Joost had told his mother Mariana, ‘Mom, you must let me go now.’
Having said goodbye to his mother, Joost passed away soon after 1pm in the presence of Pieter and Gustav.
‘The paramedic just looked at me and shook his head,’ said Pieter of Joost’s passing.
‘I knelt next to him, held him and closed his eyes. I put the blanket over him. Then I went to my mother and they just knew.’
Jack O’Toole, Pundit Arena