Oct 2021 1st edition

Marie Roberts turns 99 after beating COVID-19 twice

Written by Allison Cooper

Marie Roberts turns 99 after beating COVID-19 twice At the age of 99, Marie Roberts managed to beat COVID-19.

Marie Roberts recently celebrated her 99th birthday, but has also stopped the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in its tracks… twice!

Aunty Marie, as she is fondly called at Rand Aid Ron Smith Care Centre (RSCC) where she is a resident, contracted COVID-19 in the first and third waves.

Roberts contracted COVID-19 prior to being vaccinated, but has since received both of her vaccine doses.

"I can't remember much about the first time I had COVID-19 because I was on full oxygen, day and night, and on a drip.

“The second time I had it, I was in isolation. I think it’s wonderful that I am still here after having COVID-19 twice. I don’t know how I did it,” she says.

Leanie Bessinger, Charge Professional Nurse at RSCC, says Roberts did not have many symptoms during her second infection.

 “Aunty Marie has a very positive outlook on life and a very sharp sense of humour, which helped her through both her COVID-19 experiences,” she adds.

Robert encourages people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. “It saves lives. Also, if you are infected with COVID-19, you might not die, but the person you spread it to could die. It’s very important to get the vaccine to stop the spread of the virus.”

A full life

Robert says she has been blessed to live a full life.

She was born in 1922, in the small town of De Putten near Zeerust.

“My father was a school teacher who came to South Africa from Scotland. I grew up with six sisters and two brothers, and attended a farm school for the first 10 years of my life – which is where I learnt to speak Tswana. We used to go to school on a donkey cart,” recalls Roberts.

In 1932, her family moved to Johannesburg where she attended Commercial High School.

She met her husband Lawrence at the roller rink in Malvern.

The couple had two sons, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren. “We shared a love of music. I played classical and jazz on our baby grand piano, and my husband played the drums in a band. I can listen to music for hours,” says Roberts.

She adds that her faith was the most important thing to her throughout her life.  "I have been blessed to be part of a big, loving family,” she says.

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