Woman who received heart from Olympic coach vows active lifestyle

0
Woman who received heart from Olympic coach vows active lifestyle
TEARS OF JOY: Ivonette cried as she crossed the finish line at her first sporting event Photo credit Twitter

A 67-YEAR-OLD Brazilian woman, once bedridden, has pledged to pursue an active lifestyle, even including canoeing, after receiving the heart of the coach of Germany’s slalom canoe team who died following a car crash during the 2016 Olympics.

Ivonette Balthazar, from Rio de Janeiro, had the heart transplant last year after Stefan Henze, 35, suffered a fatal head injury when his taxi crashed into a concrete barrier.

His death three days later shook the German Olympic team.

Balthazar, who suffered a heart attack in 2012, participated in her first sporting event with her grandson in September, walking three kilometres along Rio’s Copacabana beach.

A cut-out heart pinned to her shirt read: “I have a transplanted heart.”

She plans to push herself further to take up Henze’s sport.

“Today my goal is to do more and more. My body is asking for it, and I can’t let this heart go to waste,” she told Reuters. “I will get a canoe in the lagoon and paddle.”

Henze received a silver medal for slalom canoe at the 2004 Olympics before going on to coach the sport.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

We welcome comments from readers on our website and across our social networks. We invite you to discuss issues and share your views and we encourage robust debate and criticism provided it is civil.

However we reserve the right to reject or edit comments that:

• Contain offensive language
• Include personal attacks of any kind
• Are likely to offend or target any ethnic, racial, nationality or religious group
• Are homophobic, transphobic, sexist, offensive or obscene
• Contain spam or include links to other sites
• Are clearly off topic
• Impersonate an individual or organisation, are fraudulent, defamatory of any person, threatening or invasive of another’s privacy or otherwise illegal
• Are trolling or threatening
• Promote, advertise or solicit the sale of any goods or services

You grant us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, worldwide licence to republish any material you submit to us, without limitation, in any format.