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World's oldest person celebrates 117th birthday: 'She is very grateful'

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Mar 05, 2024 6:45 pm

The world’s oldest living person, Maria Branyas Morera, just turned another year older this March.

According to the Guinness World Records, Morera celebrated her birthday on March 4. She also expressed her happiness over all the love-filled messages she received on social media.

"Thank you very much for the congratulations. My gratitude, from the bottom of my heart, to all the people who showed me your affection, respect and beautiful words yesterday," she said in a post on X as translated by the social media platform.

Eva Carrera Boix, the director of Morera's nursing home, said, she's "very grateful for all the congratulations received and the interest that so many people have shown in her state of health."

"She is happy to be able to celebrate this special day intimately with her family and colleagues and wishes everyone a happy Monday," she added.

Morera was named the world's oldest living person in January this year, taking the title from Lucile Randon, a European nun who died at the age of 118.

Morera was welcomed into the world in 1907 in San Francisco, USA. She returned to Spain with her family when she was eight to settle in Catalonia and eventually took up residence at a nursing home.

She tied the knot with a Catalan doctor named Joan Moret and had three children with him. Sadly, her long life caused her to outlive her husband, who died in 1976, and her only son, who died in a tractor accident at 86 years old.

Despite her age, Morera has no physical or mental health problems apart from issues with mobility and hearing.

She attributes this to "luck and good genetics" as well as "order, tranquility, good connection with family and friends, contact with nature, emotional stability, no worries, no regrets, lots of positivity, and staying away from toxic people."

She even has enough energy to participate in scientific testing by researchers who are looking to gain further insights on the secrets to long life. By comparing Morera's saliva, blood, and urine with those of her 80-year-old daughter, they are hoping the results will aid in the development of drugs that could combat diseases associated with aging.

In a report by Spanish news outlet ABC, scientist Manel Esteller described her as someone who has a "completely lucid head."

"She remembers with impressive clarity events from when she was only four years old, and she does not present any cardiovascular disease, common in elderly people," he said.

"It is clear that there is a genetic component because there are several members of her family who are over 90 years old," he added.

Morera is now the 12th oldest verified person in history. The title for the oldest person ever belongs to Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who lived to the age of 122 years and 164 days.