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Who is Maria Branyas? Covid survivor, 115, becomes world’s oldest person after French nun dies aged 118

Who is Maria Branyas? Covid survivor, 115, becomes world's oldest person after French nun dies aged 118

A 115-year-old Covid survivor has been named the world’s oldest person.

Maria Branyas survived Covid two years ago and has now taken over for a French nun Lucile Randon, who died at the age of 118.

Who is Maria Branyas? Covid survivor, 115, becomes world's oldest person after French nun dies aged 118
Maria Branyas is now the oldest woman at the age of 115

In May 2020, the American-born centenarian living in Spain became the oldest person ever to recover from the deadly virus.

Maria was born in San Francisco but moved to Catalonia with her family when she was a child, and she has assumed the new title following the death of Ms Randon in a nursing home in the southern French port city of Toulon.

On Tuesday, nursing home director David Tavella announced that she had died peacefully in her sleep.

Ms Randon, who took the name Sister Andre after joining a Catholic charitable order in 1944, also survived Covid last year and stole Maria’s Covid’s record in the process.

Maria, who has been living in sheltered housing in the Catalan town of Olot since the age of 92, played the piano, read newspapers, and worked out every morning until she was 105.

Who is Maria Branyas? Covid survivor, 115, becomes world's oldest person after French nun dies aged 118
Sister Andre became the oldest person in Spain in December 2019

In December 2019, she became the oldest person in Spain.

On March 4, 1907, she was born to a Catalan family who had moved to San Francisco a year before.

After Maria’s father Josep fell ill in 2015, they decided to return to Spain during the First World War.

He died of tuberculosis on the ship they were crossing the Atlantic on, while his now-centenarian daughter was injured in a fall during the same voyage and later discovered she had lost her hearing in one ear.

Maria married Catalan doctor Joan Moret at the age of 23 in 1931, had three children with him, and revealed in a recent interview that she had 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

She has lost her parents, three siblings, and one of her three children, as well as her husband, who died at the age of 72.

In an interview with Catalan daily La Vanguardia in October 2019 she recalled watching TV for the first time on December 15 1960 when King Baudouin of Belgium married Spanish aristocrat Fabiola de Mora and Aragon.

Who is Maria Branyas? Covid survivor, 115, becomes world's oldest person after French nun dies aged 118
The world’s oldest known person, Lucile Randon, known as Sister Andre, died aged 118

She also revealed that bosses at her retirement home had put her on a diet, despite allowing her to eat a small piece of cake on her birthday.

“Maria is in good health for her age, only that she’s a little bit scared after losing a lot of her hearing and sight,” said Monserrat Valdayo, the retirement home’s director, at the time.

“She finds it a little more difficult to come out of her room but is capable still of walking a little bit.”

“People live differently now than they used to,” Maria said in another interview around the same time, admitting she had “very bad memories” of the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. Money rules everything, and with money, you can get almost anything.”

source:summarybio.com