Story at a glance

  • French nun Lucile Randon, whose religious name is Sister André, tested positive for the virus in mid-January in her retirement home in the southern French city of Toulon.
  • At 116 years old, she was quarantined from other residents and experienced no symptoms from the virus.
  • She has since recovered and is set to celebrate her 117 birthday this week.

The second-oldest living person in the world has survived a bout with the coronavirus just in time for her 117th birthday. 

Reuters reports 116-year-old French nun Lucile Randon, whose religious name is Sister André, tested positive for the virus in mid-January in her retirement home in the southern French city of Toulon. She was quarantined from other residents and experienced no symptoms from the virus. 


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Sister André, who is blind, told the Var-Matin newspaper that she didn’t even realize she was infected with the coronavirus and was not worried when she received her positive diagnosis. 

“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 – join my big brother and my grandfather and my grandmother,” she told France’s BFM television. 

David Tavella, a spokesperson for the Sainte Catherine Labouré retirement home, said Sister André is considered to be cured from the virus and will celebrate her birthday this week. 

“She is very calm and she is looking forward to celebrating her 117th birthday on Thursday,” Tavella said, according to Reuters. 

Sister André was born on Feb. 11, 1904, and is the second-oldest person in the world behind 118-year-old Kane Tanaka, according to the Gerontology Research Group. She’ll reportedly spend her birthday with a smaller group of residents than usual due to COVID-19.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk. The greatest risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older. 


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Published on Feb 09, 2021