French Nun, World's 2nd Oldest Woman, Prepares to Celebrate Her 117th Birthday After Surviving COVID-19

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A French nun who is reportedly the world's second-oldest person, and the oldest in Europe, survived COVID-19 and will be celebrating her 117th birthday on Thursday. Lucile Randon, otherwise known as Sister André, was born in 1904 and "didn't even realize" she had the virus, according to Var-Matin, a French newspaper.

Sister André, who is blind and gets around in a wheelchair, tested positive on Jan. 16 in the southern city of Toulon. The majority of the 88 residents in the home also fell ill with the virus. There were 81 residents of the home who tested positive and 10 of them died, Var-Matin reported.

But after just three weeks, showing no symptoms, Sister André fully recovered and plans to celebrate her birthday this week with foie gras, baked Alaska and a glass of red wine, according to David Tavella, the nursing home communications manager.

"I didn't know I had it," André said in an interview with BFMTV. "No, I wasn't scared because I wasn't scared of dying."

She lives in a care home where she was more concerned about whether her eating and bedtime schedules would change due to having the virus.

Sister André was not afraid of the disease itself, Tavella told the Var-Matin.

The oldest woman is Kane Tanaka from Japan, who was born in 1903. The world's 20 oldest people are all women, according to the Gerontology Research Group.


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