Marco Virgona: Bob Marley stayed in your Bavarian Clinic from november 1980 to May 1981: what kind of patient was he?
Ilse Marie Issels: I saw him as a very religious man, very charismatic, with a positive attitude towards life and towards the treatment he underwent against his illness.
MV: Did your husband ever talk to you about Bob Marley ‘s illness?
IMI: I am the widow of Dr. Josef Issels who was his doctor at this time. You will understand that I can only give you information on Bob Marley that does not violate his or his family’s privacy. However, the media reported extensively on his stay at our clinic.
MV: Was he depressed because of the treatment or did he react with optimism?
IMI: In the first months of treatment he improved considerably and was again able to play football for fun. This helped, of course, to be optimistic and he also saw other seriously ill patients getting better. He took long hikes in our beautiful mountains and seemed to have fun, in spite of the disease and its treatment. His private physician/friend was always present and Bob Marley was during all the time surrounded by family and friends. Everybody adored him. The inhabitants of our town were proud to have Bob Marley staying with us.
MV: Do you remember what kind of treatment Marley was subject to?
IMI: Dr. Issels knew about the tremendous importance of the mind and soul in the development and in the cure of disease – any disease. He tried to teach his patients forgivenes – the first steptowards healing. Cleansing the mind and the body, to give the inner physician a chance. Medical doctors and medications are only tools to help the body help itself. These convictions he talked to his patients about and he did the same with Bob Marley. We were all very sad that it was not meant to be that we could help him in the long term.
MV: What did Marley usually eat and drink? Did he follow a particular diet?
IMI: Dr. Issels had prescribed a special diet to detoxify the body and, as far as I know, Bob Marley tried to follow.
MV: Do you know the relationship between your husband and Marley? Was it an exclusively medical relationship or was it a sort of friendship too?
IMI: It is difficult to answer your question about the relationship between Dr. Issels and Bob Marley, as I do not know how Bob felt deep inside. I know one thing: that it was a relationship of respect and trust. Dr. Issels respected highly Bob Marley as a person, his convictions, for what he stood in life, his purpose in life for which he fought. They had many long talks not only about medical subjects, but about life, religion, his music and art.
MV: Did you ever meet him personally in clinic?
IMI: It is with pleasure that I recall my acquaintance with Bob Marley, his wife Rita, their family and friends during Bob Marley’s stay at our clinic. I should like to help you paying homage to Bob Marley, this very special human being.
MV: Thank you very much for your kind help.
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