The 'granny of Spain' beats coronavirus at the age of 113

María Branyas.
María Branyas. / EFE
  • María Branyas, who survived Spanish Flu in 1917, is soon to appear on a TV programme in Catalonia, where she lives

María Branyas was born in San Francisco, California, 113 years ago. She is the oldest person in Spain, a grandmother and great-grandmother, and she has now beaten the coronavirus at the Sant María del Tura home in Olot, where she has lived for the past 20 years. On 4 May she was cleared of the illness that ended the lives of over 11,000 people in Catalonia and 14 companions in the same residential home.

People learned about her from a friend of the family who posted it on Twitter: "María Branyas, of Olot, the super-centenarian of Catalonia and the whole of Spain at the age of 113, has survived the Covid-19, congratulations," it said.

She has now fully recovered from the illness, during which she suffered slight symptoms, and confirmed this feat herself on a Twitter account managed by her family. "The manager of the home asked me if I want to talk to TV3 next week on the Primera Línea programme. I don't know which day it will go out. I expect it's because I have survived Covid-19," she said.

The vice-president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonés, who has also had the virus, has congratulated her. "113 years of strength and bravery. Sending a big hug for you, María. Seeing your victory gives us energy. We will continue to work tirelessly for more good news like this," he said.

María was born in the USA in the year 1907. She only has slight vision and hearing problems. A year ago, she was interviewed by ACN and looked back on her life. Her father was from northern Spain and when she was a child the family moved to Barcelona, crossing the Atlantic on a ship during WW1. She now has three children, 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.