VOLUNTEERS on the have told heart-wrenching tales of the migrants they helped rescue who docked today (Sunday) in Valencia and embarked on a new life filled with hope. One of them, Fernando Justa, was in tears as he...
Francisco Núñez, world's oldest man, turns 113
THE world's oldest man Francisco Núñez Olivera turned 113 today (Wednesday) and says he is 'crazy with happiness' at being 'the strongest man' on the planet.
Francisco's blood pressure is perfect and he has no signs of diabetes, no aches and pains and no illnesses – other than having a kidney removed when he was 90 and a cataract operation at 98, he has never been unwell.
He was thrilled to find after the cataract operation, now 15 years ago, that he could once again read the daily papers, as he 'loves to educate himself', says his daughter Antonia, 82, who lives with him.
“My dad never gets colds,” she says.
He has just gone through 'a silly autumn', according to Antonia, where he spent 'many days asleep', but was not ill with it.
Now in a wheelchair and with Antonia as his full-time carer, Francisco nonetheless has most of his faculties in working order – including his sense of humour and relaxed, carefree nature.
Until he was about 107, Francisco would still go for walks around the village of Bienvenida – which translates, curiously, as 'welcome' – in the province of Badajoz, Extremadura, and continued working on his allotment and popping into his local bar to watch the football.
Antonia says her dad has 'a good heart and good habits', and Francisco says his diet has always been made up of vegetables and pulses he grew himself – plus a 'nice glass of wine' every day.
Whebn the famous flamenco dancer 'Marchena' staged a concert in Bienvenida 91 years ago, the artist left a big impression on the village of 2,300 inhabitants – and when Francisco returned from the Rif war in Morocco as a young man, his elegance and poise led to his being nicknamed 'Marchena'.
Other than a healthy diet and lifestyle, Francisco puts his longevity down to genes – two of his siblings are still alive, his brother at age 97 in Asturias, and his sister aged 93 who also lives in Bienvenida along with her two daughters.
The quality of life in the village may also be a factor, given that over 30 of its residents are in their 90s.
“I'm totally crazy and satisfied with my soul,” Francisco declared when 100 or so villagers greeted him en masse on his doorstep to wish him a happy birthday.
Also today, Francisco has been named Favourite Son of the village in a formal ceremony in the Plaza de España.
Francisco, who says, “there's nobody else like me,” receives letters from all over Europe, the USA, México and Australia asking for a signed photo of him and enquiring about his health.
Ana Vela Rubio, 116, third-oldest woman on earth and oldest in Europe
Francisco became the world's oldest man four months ago when the Israeli who previously held the title, Yisrael Kristal, passed away.
As well as the oldest man, Spain is also home to the third-oldest woman in the world and the oldest in Europe – Ana Vela Rubio, aged 116 and 42 days.
Following the death of Violet Brown from Jamaica a few months back, Ana moved up from fourth to third and is the oldest non-Japanese person on the planet.
She has one surviving daughter, also called Ana, aged 90, having lost her son Juan last year at 86, another son in his 50s and a daughter, Carmen, when she was 10.
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