EntertainmentFrom death's door to fatherhood: Athlete's u-turn on euthanasia for love and family

From death's door to fatherhood: Athlete's u‑turn on euthanasia for love and family

Jan Kavalir was ready to undergo euthanasia. At the last moment, he called off the procedure.
Jan Kavalir was ready to undergo euthanasia. At the last moment, he called off the procedure.
Images source: © Instagram

9:26 AM EDT, April 25, 2024

Jan Kavalir, a Czech athlete, suffers from the incurable disease ALS. Consequently, he considered undergoing euthanasia in Switzerland but ultimately canceled the procedure. This change of heart was influenced by his wife, who had urgent news to share with him.

As a fitness coach and journalist, Jan Kavalir faced a life-altering moment in August 2017 when he was diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This condition progressively robs the body of its ability to move, eventually leading to death. Kavalir's life took a hopeful turn three months prior to his diagnosis when he met Martina, who would become his wife in 2021.

"He proposed to me in 2020 at the finish line of my triathlon, getting down on one knee. I was overjoyed. It was a moment brimming with emotion," Martina recalled during an interview with "Denik N".

Jan Kavalir's change of heart regarding euthanasia

Despite the disease's progression, Jan strived to embrace life fully. Aware that his condition would eventually lead to his departure from this world, he chose to face death on his terms. With Martina's support, he arranged for his euthanasia in Switzerland, scheduled for April 19.

Also see: At 86, Alain Delon considers euthanasia and has sought his son's help, having already divided his assets

Things took an unexpected turn when Martina shared revolutionary news with Jan the day before they were supposed to leave: after numerous tries, she was finally pregnant. She hoped Jan would agree to stay alive until the birth of their child, a wish he ultimately consented to. Consequently, despite having completed all the necessary preparations, they canceled the euthanasia.

"I told him I wasn't sure if it was fair to him, but I suggested we consider another way. Had he insisted on proceeding with his plan, I would have respected his choice," Martina said, reflecting on their conversation. "He agreed not to go. We both understand it's a mutual sacrifice. He signaled his agreement, saying he would stay because he loves me."

Their daughter is due in September this year. Martina also shared the increasing challenges of caring for Jan, who now cannot move or speak, communicating solely through facial expressions and blinking, as his consciousness frequently fades.

Jan Kavalir
Jan Kavalir© Instagram
Jan Kavalir with his wife Martina
Jan Kavalir with his wife Martina© Instagram
Jan Kavalir with his wife Martina
Jan Kavalir with his wife Martina© Instagram
Jan Kavalir with his wife Martina
Jan Kavalir with his wife Martina© Instagram
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