France's oldest woman beats Covid-19 to mark 117th birthday

Nun says she 'did not realise' she had caught the deadly virus

11 February 2021
By Connexion journalist

The oldest woman in France celebrated her 117th birthday today (February 11) after recovering from Covid-19.

Nun Sister André, who was born Lucile Randon in 1904, is the second-oldest known living person in the world. She tested positive for the virus in mid-January, but has been given the all-clear after three weeks.

"I didn't even realise I had it," she told French newspaper Var-Matin from the care home where she lives in Toulon.

In January, 81 of the 88 residents tested positive and 10 died.

But Sister André told French media her diagnosis did not frighten her. "I wasn't scared because I wasn't scared to die... I'm happy to be with you, but I would wish to be somewhere else - join my big brother and my grandfather and my grandmother," she told BFMTV.

"She didn't ask about her health, but about her habits," David Tavella, communications manager for the care home where she lives, told the paper.

"For example, she wanted to know if meal or bedtime schedules would change.

"She showed no fear of the disease. On the other hand, she was very concerned about the other residents."

According to the Gerontology Research Group, she is the oldest person in Europe and second in the world behind Japan's Kane Tanaka, who is 118.

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