116-year-old Sister Andre, Europe’s oldest person, has recovered from COVID-19, just days before her 117th birthday.
Sister Agnes, who was born Lucile Randon, tested positive for the coronavirus on 16th January this year at her Sainte Catherine Labouré retirement home in Toulon, France. However, she was asymptomatic and she told the local media that she “didn’t even realise I had it”. She was isolated from the others in the facility, though.
Unfortunately, 81 of the 88 residents of the retirement home contracted the virus, 10 of whom passed away.
According to the Gerontology Research Group’s (GRG) World Supercentenarian Rankings List, Sister Andre is the world’s second oldest living person and Europe’s oldest.
When asked by French broadcaster BFM if she was scared of having Covid, Sister Andre said: “No, 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 – to join my big brother, and my grandfather and my grandmother.”
David Tavella, a spokesperson for the nursing home, told Var-Matin newspaper that the nun had shown no fear of the virus.
“She didn’t ask me about her health but about her routine. She wanted to know for example if the meal and bed times were going to change. She showed no fear of the illness, in fact she was more worried about the other residents,” Tavella said.
Sister Andre, who is blind and uses a wheelchair, will celebrate her 117th birthday on 11th February with a smaller group of residents than usual because of the pandemic.
Born on 11th February 1904, Sister Agnes worked as a tutor and a governor before she joined the convent when she was 40. While she has been in nursing homes since decades, she was in the retirement home in Toulon from 2009.
Last year, Andrée said she had no idea how she had lived so long. “I’ve no idea what the secret is. Only God can answer that question,” she told French radio. “I’ve had plenty of unhappiness in life and during the 1914-1918 war when I was a child, I suffered like everyone else.”