A Mexican woman has become the oldest human to have ever lived after reaching the grand old age of 127 – but she lost her birth certificate four decades ago, it was claimed today.
Leandra Becerra Lumbreras was said to have been born on August 31, 1887 – the year Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee.
She was 27 when the First World War broke out, already a pensioner at 66 when Queen Elizabeth II ascended the British throne and 82 when man first set foot on the moon.
And the birthday girl’s secret to a long life is eating well, sleeping for days on end and never getting married, according to her family.
Miss Lumbreras reportedly fought in the 1910-1917 Mexican Revolution as a leader of the ‘Adelitas’ – women who went with their husbands to the battle front.
The former seamstress, from the western Mexican city of Zapopan, has already buried her five children and several of her 20 grandchildren – the last died in 2013 aged 90.
She also has 73 great-grandchildren and 55 great-great-grandchildren. Mexican authorities are now trying to provide a new birth certificate after she lost the original 40 years ago while moving house.
Grandaughter Miriam Alvear, 43, told Mexico’s El Horizonte newspaper that although she is now deaf and suffering from cataracts, Ms Lumbreras still often entertains her family with stories from a time long confined to history books.
They include having to flee their homes and hide in caves to escape being forcibly recruited into the Mexican army.
Her only possessions help her remember years gone by – an old silver spoon made in 1847, a pair of gold earrings, a ring and an old pocket watch engraved with a steam train.
‘She is entirely lucid. She blows your mind with her stories from the Mexican revolution. She was always a woman who fought for her rights‘ says Miriam Alvear, grandaughter
‘She was always a woman who fought. She was still sewing and weaving until about two years ago. She never ceased to be active, that’s why we think she’s lived so long.’
According to Miss Alvear, she also talks about the three great loves of her life, one of which, Margarito Maldonado, was a famous revolutionary leader.
Another granddaughter, Celia Hernandez, said that she sometimes sleeps for three days on end, but when she’s awake likes to eat, talk and sing lullabies.
She said: “Her parents were singers. She loves to entertain her grandchildren with the old songs they taught her”.
‘She’s always had a good tooth, even at her old age. She has no diabetes or hypertension so can eat as many chocolates and sweets as she likes’ stated Celia Hernandez, granddaughter
According to her family, she has already told them what she wants for her birthday party today – beans with tortillas, even though she isn’t allowed solid food on medical advice.
Miss Lumbreras is 12 years older than Japan’s Misao Okawa, currently the oldest documented living person in the world, according to Guinness World Records.
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