‘World oldest man’ celebrates 121st birthday after COVID-19 recovery

An acclaimed world oldest man, Andrelino Vieira da Silva, has celebrated his 121st birthday after recovering from COVID-19 with his family in a small gathering event.

The celebrant, who lives in the city of Aparecida de Goiania in the Brazilian state of Goias, celebrated turning 121 on February 3, a claim which was yet to be verified.

The father-of-seven marked the occasion during an intimate gathering with family, who live on the same plot of land as him, as they all recovered from COVID-19.

Mr da Silva, who has 13 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild, was born on February 3, 1901, according to his ID card.

He would be the world’s oldest living person if his age is verified. He was married and had seven children, five of whom are still alive.

To mark the milestone age, the retiree celebrated the day with a cake decorated with his first name, his age, and the phrase ‘O terror do INSS’ which translates as ‘the terror of the INSS’.

The theme of Mr da Silva’s cake was conceived by his granddaughter, accounting supervisor Janaina Lemes de Souza, 36. Ms de Souza said it was a ‘great privilege’ to have her grandfather reach the age of 121 and described how the family ‘valued every moment’.

She told G1: ‘It is a great privilege to have a person of this age in the family to be able to share stories with us. My daughter has had the opportunity to have a great-grandfather. I did not. We value every moment. He travels, he goes to bars, he does everything.’

She continued: ‘He is lucid, active, cooks his food, take care of his little things. We live with the whole family on the same land, but he has his own shack, where he lives alone. He leads a normal life. He loves forro (a style of music and dance from north-eastern Brazil) and would always dance.’

Ms de Souza added ‘As we all have Covid-19, we just made a little cake so as to not let it go uncelebrated. It was just us. But he is doing very well, he only has mild symptoms. He has had all three doses of the vaccine.’

The oldest certified living person in the world is Kane Tanaka, from Japan, who celebrated her 119th birthday last month.

Ms. Tanaka, who was born on January 2, 1903, currently resides at a nursing home in Fukuoka and while the centenarian is unable to speak, she communicates with staff using gestures.

She was recognized as the world’s oldest living person by the Guinness World Records when she was 116 in 2019. And in 2020 she became the oldest person in Japan at 117 and 261 days old. It is not clear if Mr da Silva and his family will seek to have his age officially verified.

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