Wednesday 26 April 2017

World's oldest person Emma Morano dies in Italy aged 117

Emma Morano, the world's oldest person at 117, died in her home in northern Italy (AP)
Emma Morano, the world's oldest person at 117, died in her home in northern Italy (AP)

The world's oldest person, Emma Morano, has died at her home in northern Italy aged 117, her doctor said.

Ms Morano is also believed to have been the last surviving person born in the 1800s.

Dr Carlo Bava told The Associated Press that Ms Morano's carer had called him to say she had died on Saturday while sitting in an armchair at her home in Verbania, a town on Italy's Lake Maggiore.

Dr Bava said he had last seen his patient on Friday when "she thanked me and held my hand", as she did every time he called on her.

While she had been spending more time sleeping and less time speaking in recent weeks, she had eaten her daily raw egg and biscuits that day, he said.

Dr Bava also lives in Verbania and had been her doctor for nearly a quarter of a century.

Ms Morano, born on November 29 1899, had been living in a one-room apartment, where she was kept company by her carer and two elderly nieces.

"She didn't suffer. I'm happy she didn't suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly," Dr Bava said.

He said she had been her usual chatterbox self until a few weeks ago. "She was slowly fading away," he said.

Dr Bava has previously said that Ms Morano lost a son to cot death when he was six months old and left her husband in the first half of the last century after he beat her.

She "abandoned the husband in the fascist era, when women were supposed to be very submissive", Dr Bava said in a 2015 interview. "She was always very decisive."

She went on to support herself by working in a factory making jute bags, then at a hotel, working way beyond the usual retirement age.

She also defied health advice, Dr Bava said on Saturday. Some doctors had warned her against eating three eggs daily, which she did for years, but she ignored their advice.

AP

A woman in Jamaica, Violet Brown, who was born on the Caribbean island on March 10 1900, is now considered the oldest known person in the world, according to a list kept by the Gerontology Research Group.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness tweeted his congratulations to her.

AP

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