'What I have is just borrowed': Accordion-playing husband pays tribute to wife who loses battle to Covid-19

15 August 2021 - 11:30
By shonisani tshikalange AND Shonisani Tshikalange
Lukas and Marinda du Preez.
Image: Lukas du Preez Lukas and Marinda du Preez.

A Western Cape husband who captured the hearts of South Africans when he played his accordion in the cold outside the hospital where his wife was being treated for Covid-19 says he is devastated after her death. 

“It is with the deepest sadness and a spirit of despair that my three children and I had to say goodbye ... to a beloved wife and mother who was in every way the best person we have ever known,” Lukas du Preez said after the death of his wife Marinda on Saturday.

“She lived her life first and foremost for her family and fellow human beings, was steadfast in her Christian faith and the rock in our and many other people's lives.

“We have had a fantastic blessed life together over the 50 years she and I have known each other.”

In July, Du Preez told TimesLIVE that his wife was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 shortly after a trip to Cape Town.

The couple had gone to the Mother City to receive their vaccinations.

“We came back on a high and thought that we are now OK and then four days later she started getting fevers and became ill.

“I first tried treating her at home but her coughing became worse and her oxygen levels started dropping. I realised that I couldn’t just leave it like this and had to take her to hospital,” he told TimesLIVE at the time.

She tested positive for Covid-19 and was admitted to the Life Bay View private hospital in Mossel Bay.

At the time, Du Preez said he knew the only way to let Marinda know she needed to fight harder in hospital was through his music and the gospel songs she adored.

He said his wife generously distributed her love, helping where she could and forgiving where needed.

“She was the epitome of a strong, believing and loving person, full of compassion for others. Her creativity with artwork and sportiness (running more than 60 marathons in the past!) was legendary. But more than all this, was her loving character and unwavering Christian faith.

“We greet you with the last stanzas of Koos Du Plessis' song 'Prayer': What I am is only grace; what I have is just borrowed. At last, I long for Your waters of rest ... Rest softly my darling, until we see Jesus again.”