Lucile Randon, Sister Andre's birth name, in Toulon, southern France, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. Photo Credit: Sainte-Catherine Laboure care home/ David Tavella via AP

Society France14. February 2021

Europe’s Oldest Person Beats COVID-19 in Time to Celebrate Her 117th Birthday

A nun based in Toulon, France, the oldest person in Europe – and the second oldest in the world – has fully recovered from the coronavirus just in time to celebrate her 117th birthday on February 11th.

Sister André, whose birth name is Lucile Randon, self-isolated for weeks and didn’t display any symptoms. “We consider her to be cured,” says David Tavella, communications manager at the retirement home where the retired nun lives. “She is very calm and she is looking forward to celebrating her 117th birthday.”

According to the World Supercentenarian Rankings List generated by the Gerontology Research Group, the only other person known to be older than Sister André is Kane Tanaka, a Japanese woman who turned 118 on January 2nd. Born in 1904, André lived a fascinating life, surviving many events, including the 1918 influenza pandemic and two world wars. “Talking to her is like leafing through an almanac,” says Tavella. The birthday doyenne hopes that victims of the pandemic will “keep hope, fight, fight to heal and set an example”.


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