116yo Man Back On Feet After Breathing Scare

Story ByLee Bullen,Sub EditorJoseph Golder,AgencyCentral European News

A reportedly 116-year-old man who survived the Spanish Flu of 1918 is back on his feet after being admitted to hospital for a recent breathing scare amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regarded as not only oldest man in the South African city of Cape Town, but also possibly the oldest man in the world, Oom Fredie Blom was admitted to hospital with breathing problems last week, and his wife Janetta Blome, who is a sprightly 86 years old in comparison, said she was scared she was going to lose her husband.

Janetta, who lives with Oom Fredie in the township of Delft, said: “He was very weak, I’ve never seen him like that.


“He had trouble breathing on Monday, and I called the ambulance, but he was stubborn and refused help.

“On Thursday, he was too weak and we had to get him medical care urgently, so he was admitted at Delft Day Hospital.”

The relieved wife added that they then had the good news it was not COVID, saying: “Hours later, he was discharged with some tablets and the doctor told me it was simply his old age acting up.”

Janetta said that she is giving Oom Fredie her special remedy of Turlington drops, honey, cayenne pepper, hot water and lemon every day.


She added: “We take it twice, in the morning and at night, my grandchildren also like it especially for the honey.”

Janetta also said that her 116-year-old husband feels that after so many years he is ready to pass on now.

She said: “Last week, he told me he is ready for God to come to fetch him, I told him not to persist, God will take him when the time is right.”


Oom Fredie was spotted up and about this week, apparently undaunted by his recent trip to the hospital.

Janetta said: “Some days he doesn’t feel like talking, like today, he just ignores us and does his own thing.”

According to Guinness World Records, the oldest person ever to have lived is Jeanne Calment of France, who lived to be 122 years and 164 days, and the oldest man ever is Jiroemon Kimura of Japan, who was born on 19th April 1897 and passed away at the age of 116 years and 54 days on 12th June 2013.


The oldest person still living is Japanese woman Kane Tanaka, born 2nd January 1903.

Guinness World Records says on their website that they are “currently investigating the title for both female and male oldest person living.

“Further information will be announced upon confirmation of the next record holder”.

It was not revealed what the status was of claims in South Africa that Oom Fredie Blom is 116.

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