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Neighbourhood > Guest Character Profiles > Roberta Marley Anna McCrossin-Owen

Roberta Marley 2003, 2006, 2007
Occupation: Oncologist at Erinsborough & District Hospital, Lecturer

After finding a lump in her breast, a terrified Steph Scully put off doing anything about it but eventually went to see G.P. Karl Kennedy, who arranged an appointment for her with oncologist Roberta Marley. At the hospital, Dr Marley checked and explained that there was definitely a lump, though it may not necessarily be cancer, and, even if it was, there would be several courses of action. During an ultrasound, with radiologist Karen Burns, Steph became distressed, but Karen couldn’t speak to her about her findings. Later, Steph returned to see Dr Marley, who explained that the lump would require further investigation and a needle biopsy would be completed, with the results coming back within one or two days. The results showed that Steph had breast cancer and, after struggling to deal with the news for a few weeks, she eventually went in for the operation with Dr Marley, followed by several weeks of chemotherapy, and beat the disease.

Three years later, Dr Marley found herself tutoring medical student Boyd Hoyland, Steph’s stepson, who was beginning his first year at university. During his first Gross Anatomy session, which involved cutting into a cadaver, Boyd start gagging and had to leave the room. Dr Marley insisted that such strong emotions were normal for people performing these procedures for the first time, and Boyd was also encouraged by fellow student Sasha Hennessy who, having talked him into facing his fears, proceeded to faint as she watched him cut into the body.

The following year, Dr Marley was back in her role as oncologist when Sky Mangel’s baby, Kerry, was found to be suffering from leukaemia. She explained that Kerry would need a bone marrow biopsy in order to confirm the diagnosis. Once this had happened, and the leukaemia diagnosis was definite, everyone in Ramsay Street insisted on being tested with Kerry’s dad, Dylan, and his younger brother, Stingray, the only matches. More bad news was to come when it was revealed that Dylan’s exposure to nuclear waste at the wetlands two years earlier ruled him out as a donor and could also be the cause of Kerry’s leukaemia. However, Stingray went ahead with the operation, performed by Dr Marley and, although he reacted badly to the general anaesthetic, the operation was a success and, a few days later, Dr Marley informed Sky and Dylan that Kerry was accepting the donated bone marrow and looked to be in the clear. Although the baby did recover, Stingray suddenly passed away the following week from an aneurysm that had gone undetected.

Biography by Steve



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