The US-born 115-year-old Spaniard, who survived Covid and worked out every morning until she was 105, becomes the world’s oldest person after the death of the French nun, who was 118
- The world’s oldest person, Lucile Randon, died in her sleep this week
- Maria Branyas, who moved to Catalonia as a child, is now the eldest
- She was born on March 4, 1907 to a Catalan family living in San Francisco
A 115-year-old American-born Spaniard who survived Covid two years ago has become the world’s oldest person after the death of French nun Lucile Randon aged 118.
Maria Branyas became the oldest person to ever recover from the killer virus in May 2020.
And now the daughter of the Spanish journalist, who was born in San Francisco but moved to Catalonia with her family as a child, has taken on a new title following the death of Ms Randon at a care home in the southern French port city of Toulon.
Nursing home manager David Tavella announced Tuesday that she died in her sleep.
Maria Branya (pictured), who survived Covid two years ago, has become the world’s oldest person after the death of French nun Lucile Randon
Care home manager David Tavella announced on Tuesday that Lucile Randon (pictured) had died in his sleep at the age of 118
Ms Randon, who was named Sister Andre after joining a Catholic charity order in 1944, also survived Covid last year, taking Maria’s coronavirus record from her in the process.
Maria, who has lived in assisted living in the Catalan city of Olot since she was 92, played the piano, read the newspaper and exercised every morning until she was 105.
She became the oldest person in Spain in December 2019.
She was born on March 4, 1907 to a Catalan family who had emigrated to San Francisco a year earlier.
They decided to return to Spain in 2015 during World War I after Maria’s father Josep fell ill.
He eventually died of tuberculosis on the ship that took them across the Atlantic, and his now centenary daughter was injured in a fall during the same voyage and later found that she had lost her hearing in one ear.
Maria married the Catalan doctor Joan Moret in 1931 at the age of 23 and had three children with him. In a recent interview, she revealed that she had 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
She has seen her parents, three siblings and one of their three children die, as well as her husband, who died at the age of 72.
Maria Branyas (pictured) became the oldest person to ever recover from Covid in May 2020
In an interview with Catalan daily La Vanguardia in October 2019, she recalled watching television for the first time on December 15, 1960, when King Baudouin of Belgium married Spanish aristocrat Fabiola de Mora and Aragon.
She also revealed bosses at her retirement home put her on a diet, although they let her eat a small piece of cake on her birthday.
Monserrat Valdayo, the director of the nursing home, said at the time: “Maria is in good health for her age, except that she is a bit scared, having lost much of her hearing and sight.
“She finds it a bit more difficult to get out of her room, but she can still walk a little.”
In another interview around the same time, in which she admitted to having “very bad memories” of the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, Maria added: “People live differently now than they used to. Money dominates everything and you can get almost anything with money.”