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Brazilian goes for gold after receiving Olympiad's heart

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 01:32

A 67-year-old Brazilian woman has had her life changed after receiving the heart of the former coach of Germany's slalom canoe teach. Saskia O'Donoghue reports

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He was the coach of Germany's slalom canoe team and tragically died last year shortly after the Olympics. But his legacy is not just contiunuing with his sporting record. Stefan Henze, who died in a car crash, has saved another woman's life - with his heart. 67-year-old Ivonette Balthazar, who was once bedridden after a serious heart attack, waited 20 months for a transplant. Henze's heart has now totally changed her life - and she's vowing to live in his memory. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) BRAZILIAN HEART TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT, IVONETTE BALTHAZAR, SAYING: "I'm really taking care of this heart, I'd like to give (his) mother a hug because I'm also a mother and I know how much she must be suffering, because there's no greater pain than a mother losing her child. I would hug them and tell them that I'm going to do everything I can to make sure this heart is alive for a long time, and I'm going to try to do as much as I can." Ivonette is now more active than she ever thought she'd be, even walking in a 3 kilometre event along Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach. A cutout heart pinned to her shirt read: 'I have a transplanted heart'. Stefan Henze received a silver medal for slalom canoe at the 2004 Olympics before going on to coach the sport. Ivonette has tried to contact his family after the transplant, sending a letter to them via the German consulate.

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Brazilian goes for gold after receiving Olympiad's heart

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 01:32