Cape Town Woman Aged 103 Survives COVID-19

Picture: Facebook, @MediclinicSouthernAfrica

Bertha Meltzer, aged 103, is one of the oldest Covid-19 survivors in South Africa, and possibly the continent.

Meltzer was admitted to Cape Town Mediclinic with Covid-19 pneumonia in July.

After staying in the hospital for two-weeks on high-flow nasal oxygen, Meltzer recovered and was wheeled out of the private hospital with no signs of respiratory distress.

Mediclinic Southern Africa posted a video of her being discharged on Facebook causing an outpouring of well-wishes for the centurion.

Her family still isn’t sure where or how she contracted the virus, but they are overjoyed that she has survived.

Her grandson, Kevin Meltzer, says his grandmother has inspired people around the world with her tenacious spirit.

According to Kevin, she maintained a positive attitude while hospitalised with Covid-19 and spoke highly of the staff at Cape Town Mediclinic who helped her during her recovery.

Kevin says, “I spoke to her in hospital, she was very much aware of what was going on and she was quite positive about recovering,”.

He continued to say that his grandmother had fought off bronchitis and pneumonia in recent years and that her immune system had become more resilient each time.

“She had been in and out of hospital over the past five years with bronchitis and pneumonia. She was strong in fighting off virus-like that and managed to overcome this,” he said.

According to Kevin, Grandma Meltzer is also known to lead a healthy lifestyle, which most likely helped with her recovery.

The 103-year-old is known for being fiercely independent and able to do everything for herself, even in her old age.

Her grandson told CapeTalk that she is a keen Bridge player, bowler, and an avid walker.

“She’s a healthy person, she’s still working and is fiercely independent. She has all her faculties and her mental abilities.”

Bertha Meltzer was born on 8 January 1917 in Thaba ‘Nchu, a small rural town in the Free State, at the height of the Spanish flu pandemic.

She grew up in Franschoek when her family moved to the Mother City and she completed her studies at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

While at UCT, she met her Zimbabwean-born husband, Manny. They married and moved to Zimbabwe to raise a family and run their business.

Bertha lived in Zimbabwe until 2008, she was 91 years old when they made the move back to Cape Town.