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The World's Oldest Man Is Believed To Have Died In Chile - Aged 121

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The World's Oldest Man Is Believed To Have Died In Chile - Aged 121

A Chilean man believed to be the world's oldest person has died in hospital at the age of 121.

Celino Villanueva Jaramillo reportedly passed away on Wednesday in the southern Chilean town of San José de Mariquina.

The centenarian, who was born on 25 July 1896, had not been recognised by Guinness because there was a lack of official verification on his date of birth.

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It's believed that he had fallen out of bed and broken three ribs, one of which pierced a lung.

According to The Guardian, after an emergency operation and being placed in intensive care, doctors were originally optimistic he would survive.

But in the last couple of days his damaged lung became critical, and on Tuesday a priest was called to deliver the last rites.

Ivonne Morales and her mother, Marta Ramírez adopted Celino when he was 99 after his house had burned down, he had no one else and looked frail.

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Marta recalls: "He was 99, I didn't think he'd be around that much longer."

Following his death, Ivonne, said: "We're very sad. He was an integral part of our family, the man of the house."

Credit: Chilevisión
Credit: Chilevisión

Although honoured by politicians, including Chile's billionaire president Sebastian Piñera, as the country's oldest recognised citizen, Celino has never received any specialist care.

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And the family that had adopted him never had any institutional support or the provision of geriatric home-helps.

A hospital stay in July 2017 also proved to be traumatic and debilitating for the the elderly gentleman, who ended up strapped to his bed and heavily medicated for two weeks to stop him demanding to be allowed to use the bathroom.

Marta Ramírez, herself a chirpy 85 years old, was adamant she would not put her very elderly guest into an old-people's home.

Credit: Chilevisión
Credit: Chilevisión
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She told The Guardian: "I'm tired and it's not easy looking after him with no support - but he just wouldn't survive in a home, they die there so quickly."

For his 115th birthday in 2011 president, Sebastián Piñera, travelled to meet Celino with the minister of social development, Joaquin Lavin.

Lavin presented Celino with a certificate verifying the government's recognition of his age, and told him he was a shining example of health and vitality to follow for all citizens and of the government's commitment to Chile's seniors.

Piñera presented him with a set of earphones, two crutches and a small wood-burning stove.

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Celino, a farm worker who had never married and had no known living relatives, will be buried on Friday morning in the Indigenous Cemetery of Mehuín.

Featured Image Credit: Chilevisión

Topics: man, Chile, Inspirational, Interesting, record, Community, Weird

Rebecca Shepherd
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