MARIA Branyas, who at 113 is Spain’s most senior citizen, has overcome COVID-19.
Born in San Francisco in 1907, where her father had gone for work after spending some time in Mexico, Maria currently lives in the Santa Maria del Tura care home in Olot, in northern Catalunya.
The centennial grandmother has spent the last 20 years living in the residence without cognitive problems or serious illnesses.
The centre confirmed 17 coronavirus-related deaths among its elderly residents on April 1.
Only one caregiver has been allowed to enter Branyas’ room for the duration of the health crisis. Despite this precaution, around mid-April Branyas herself was diagnosed positive with COVID-19 following a PCR test.
Maria has now recovered, having experienced only ‘mild’ symptoms and becoming possibly the world’s oldest person to survive the disease.
Coronavirus is not the only pandemic this centennial grandmother has overcome, having also survived the so-called ‘Spanish flu’ a century ago.
The oldest woman in Spain, who married Joan Moret, a doctor from Llagostera (Girones), in 1931, had three children and now has eleven grandchildren (one of whom is now 60) and 13 great-grandchildren.
Maria’s family is looking forward to the ‘new normality’ when lockdown restrictions are lifted so they can visit her again.