The world’s oldest person has died, aged 117. Emma Morano died peacefully in her armchair in her own home on April 15. Living in northern Italy, in scenic Verbania near Lake Maggiore, Emma Morano’s life spanned over three centuries, and was one of the five oldest people recorded in the world.
In 2016, Morano was interviewed by AFP; her secret to longevity was eating only one meal a day consisting of two raw eggs, and cookies. Because she had lost her teeth, she couldn’t manage much more.
The death of Morano was reported by her doctor, Dr Carlo Bava. A caretaker had informed the doctor that Morano had stopped breathing while sitting in her armchair in the afternoon.
Dr Bava last saw his patient on Friday. “She thanked me and held my hand,” he recalled. Dr Bava had looked after Morano’s health for almost 25 years.
“She didn’t suffer. I’m happy she didn’t suffer but passed away that way, tranquilly,” Dr Bava said.
Until recent weeks, Dr Bava had said Morano was her usual chatterbox self.
Morano, according to an interview with AP, had witnessed her fair share of heartbreak. She lost a son to what is now described as cot death or SIDS, when he was six months old. Morano also summoned the courage to leave her husband at the start of the 20th century after he beat her.
Dr Bava described Morano as a “very decisive” woman who had “abandoned” her husband during the Fascist era “when women were supposed to be very submissive.”
She continued to work beyond retirement until the age of 75, and ignored advice from other medical specialists who had warned against eating eggs daily – something that was recommended to her when she was 20 years old. She also said an important factor, she believed, was her 7pm bedtime and waking before 6am. Her sister also lived until 102.
Up until her last few years, Morano continued to do her own housework and cooking.
Morano, born in 1899, was the world’s last person to be born in the 19th century. She witnessed two world wars, 90 Italian governments, and the ushering in of the Digital Age.
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