Italy’s Emma Morano, the world’s oldest living person, marked her 117th birthday today, blowing out all the candles on her cake.
Beaming at the attention, Morano took in the festivities for her milestone celebration sitting in an armchair in her one-room apartment in the northern town of Verbania, joined by her two elderly nieces, a pair of caregivers and her long-time physician.
She received a greeting from Italy’s president, read by an official, wishing her “serenity and good healthy,” and appeared for a brief live broadcast on state-run television. She happily accepted some gifts, including her favorite cookies, which she ate with some milk.
Then she blew out the candles on her cake – not one for every year, but three numerals to show her age, 117 – and quipped: “I hope I don’t have to cut it!”
To the assembled well-wishers, Morano said, “I am happy to turn 117,” and drew encouragement from her physician, Dr. Carlo Bava.
“Who would have said it?!” the doctor remarked. “When you were young everyone used to say you were weak and sick.”
“Yes, yes,” she responded.
Happy birthday to her plus she has outlived all her seven siblings despite being the first child.