Holistic approach to COVID-19 recovery for Wokingham resident


An 83-year-old resident from Suffolk Lodge, a Wokingham-based care home run by Optalis, has made a full recovery from COVID-19 by taking an all-natural approach to his health. 

Mr Roderick Mackie, known as Mack, has lived in the reablement wing of the residential home since early 2020 where he was recovering from a fall in his garden. The 83-year-old felt instantly at home at Suffolk Lodge, and, while there are care workers who provide full support, he continued to live an independent lifestyle where he would visit the shops and cook his own dinners.  

However, shortly before lockdown, when returning home from a day out, he began to feel out of character and confused. Within a couple of days, Mack had become quite unwell, and tested positive for COVID-19. Despite this, Mack chose to take an all-natural approach to his care and recovery. 

Thanks to his excellent health, Mack was able to continue working to the age of 80 before retiring.  Mr Mackie has always led a healthy lifestyle, keeping to a vegetarian diet and, most recently, taking walks around the grounds of Suffolk Lodge for daily breathing exercises. 

He’s also spent time reviewing scientific research, learning about biology and how the body reacts to illness. As such, his wish was to not take any conventional medication whilst ill. As he explained; “I’ll leave it to my antibodies to make the decision. If my antibodies don’t work, then it’s my time to go.”

Endeavouring to make him as comfortable as they could, the care team at Suffolk Lodge supported him through his illness, ensuring he remained hydrated and comfortable as he fought through the virus.

Within a week, Mack began showing signs of positive recovery. His symptoms eased and he felt well enough to leave his bed. On his recovery, Mr Mackie commented: “My health now is fairly good, although I have to allow for my age.”

Wendy Luck, Optalis’ Suffolk Lodge Home Manager, explains: “Our focus was on making Mr Mackie as comfortable as possible. He became quite unwell, but we would never go against a person’s wishes when it came to their health and medication.

“However, despite being seriously ill, Mr Mackie began to make a remarkable recovery, something that I attribute partly to his daily breathing exercises. We’re all thrilled to see him return to full health and are happy to see him involved in daily activities at the home once again.”

With his health back, Mack has been enjoying his independence. During lockdown, Mack has spent his time learning to play the piano by ear, so his first trip out will be to the library where he’ll be looking for piano guides and sheet music to enhance his learning. 

He also loves gardening and enjoys being able to support the Suffolk Lodge Activities Coordinator in tending to the home’s potatoes and tomatoes.  


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