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Europe’s oldest person turns 117 after surviving Covid-19

Credits: Belga

France’s oldest person, who is also understood to be the oldest person in Europe, has many reasons to celebrate.

Not only is Lucile Randon, who took the name of Sister Andre in 1944, turning 117 on 11 February, she also recently survived the new coronavirus (Covid-19), for which she was tested positive on 16 January, but didn’t develop any symptoms.

“I didn’t even realise I had it,” Randon, who is blind and uses a wheelchair, told a local media organisation.

When French broadcaster BFM asked her if she was scared of having Covid-19, Sister Andre responded: “No, I wasn’t scared, because I wasn’t scared to die.

After testing positive, she was isolated from other residents in her retirement home in Toulon, in southern France, but she has since fully recovered.

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“She has been very lucky,” David Tavella, a spokesman for the Sainte Catherine Labouré retirement home where Randon stays, told Var Matin newspaper.

He added: “She showed no fear of the disease. On the other hand, she was very concerned about the other residents.”

Now she is looking forward to celebrating her 117th birthday, even though celebrations to mark the occasion will be honed in due to the ongoing health crisis, in line with France’s current measures.

Sister Andre, who was born on 11 February 1904, is also the second-oldest living person in the world, according to the Gerontology Research Group’s (GRG) World Supercentenarian Rankings List.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times