Late Olympian Stefan Henze's heart gets a Brazilian back to life

Updated: Dec 05, 2016, 11:39 IST | AFP |

Brazilian Ivonette Balthazar taps her chest where the transplanted heart of Stefan Henze, a German Olympic athlete beats hard

Late Stefan Henze
Late Stefan Henze

Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Ivonette Balthazar taps her chest where the transplanted heart of Stefan Henze, a German Olympic athlete beats hard.

"The little motor's in here," she says. Three and a half months since a grueling but successful operation to replace her heart in the middle of the Rio Olympics, Balthazar, 66, is amazed and thankful to be alive.

But even as the huge scar running down her chest fades, the emotions of owing her own survival to a man she never met and who first had to die himself remain almost too much to handle.

Henze, a German canoing team coach who had won silver in the 2004 Athens Games was fatally injured in a car accident and Balthazar got the call.

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