Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A woman believed to be the oldest person in Brazil and the third oldest person in the world has died aged 116.
Francisca Celsa dos Santos died at her home in the neighbourhood of Messejana in the city of Fortaleza in the north-eastern Brazilian state of Ceara on Tuesday, 5th October.
She succumbed to multiple organ failure brought on by a bout of pneumonia 17 days before what would have been her 117th birthday on 22nd October.
Francisca was recognised as Brazil’s oldest person by the Gerontology Research Group, which is considered an authority on the subject by Guinness World Records.
According to Francisca’s granddaughter, administrative assistant Fernanda Aliny Barroso Celsa, Francisca’s pneumonia was not the result of COVID-19.
She was buried in the Municipal Cemetery of Pacajus in the town of the same name in the Fortaleza Metropolitan Region on the afternoon of Wednesday, 6th October.
Fernanda told reporters the family was deeply saddened by the loss and that Francisca was a strong woman and very loving to everyone.
Fernanda said: “She’s the synonym of love, of the will to live, of everything good that can be imagined. The link between grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren.
“Despite not being able to move, living bedridden for a few years, there’s been an empty hole in each corner of the house.”
The day before she died, Francisca was officially recognised as the oldest woman in Latin America.
Fernanda said: “We received the call from the Guinness Book people giving us the news. We were very happy that day and shortly afterwards, her departure came. It was very difficult.”