Was it T-cells or prayer? Whichever the case, a 116-year-old French nun who is believed to be the world’s second-oldest person has survived COVID-19 and is looking forward to celebrating her 117th birthday on February 11. She survived a coronavirus outbreak that killed 10 people in her care home. “I wasn’t scared because I’m not scared of dying,” she said.
The Gerontology Research Group, which validates details of people thought to be 110 or older, lists Frenchwoman Lucile Randon — Sister André’s birth name – as the second-oldest known living person in the world.
French media reported that Sister André tested positive for the virus in mid-January in the southern French city of Toulon. But just three weeks later, the nun was considered recovered. “I didn’t even realize I had it,” she told French newspaper Var-Matin.
Sister André, who is blind and uses a wheelchair, did not even worry when she received her diagnosis.
“She didn’t ask me about her health, but about her habits,” David Tavella, the communications manager for the care home where the nun, told the newspaper. “For example, she wanted to know if meal or bedtime schedules would change. She showed no fear of the disease. On the other hand, she was very concerned about the other residents.”
Unfortunately, not all of the home’s residents shared Sister André’s luck. In January, 81 of the 88 residents tested positive for the virus. Since then, about 10 of them have died, according to Var-Matin. Once doctors cleared the nun, she was allowed to attend Mass.