A woman who was declared dead to her town when she reached 101 has gone on to live another 20 years and has celebrated her 121st birthday this week by blowing out candles on her cake for the first time.
Supercentenarian Akkiz Buyukturgut, who hails from the small town of Saraykent in the central Turkish province of Yozgat, spoke about the time she first ‘died’ following surgery twenty years ago, after which she ended up in the intensive care unit.
Her worried relatives were at the hospital waiting for news, and due to a miscommunication, mistakenly understood that she had died. Devastated, they called other relatives back in their town so they could start organising the burial service.
However, they later learned their elderly relative was alive, and they took her home after she was discharged from the intensive care unit.
She said that as she was being brought home, to her surprise, she heard the announcement from the town mosque announcing her death, something which she laughs about now, but admits it was a bit of a shock at the time.
The reputedly 121-year-old woman lives with her daughter Zeynep Guzel, whose age was not disclosed, and has a total of eight children and 48 grandchildren.
Akkiz told local media that her secret to a long life is an active lifestyle, eating healthy food and waking up early.
She also added that before she dies she still has one wish, which is to meet the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The elderly woman’s daughter Zeynep, now also elderly herself, told local media: “I thought I’d go to my mother’s house and stay here and look after her. I am with her now, looking after her, bringing and taking her anywhere she needs. As long she is here, if I am alive, I will be with her. I love my mother a lot and I am very happy to be with her.”
Ali Acikgoz, the governor of Saraykent, made a surprise visit, appearing at Akkiz’s home with a cake, giving her the chance to celebrate her birthday by blowing out the candles for the first time.
Governor Acikgoz said: “We had a surprise birthday celebration for Akkiz today. She was very surprised to see us and told us that it was her first birthday party. Grandma Akkiz has 8 children and 48 grandchildren. May Allah give them a long life. We told her ‘we are with you’. We never want our elders to feel alone. We are here to make everyone feel the warmth of our state’.”
The Guinness World Records has not verified Akkiz’s age and considers Kane Tanaka of Japan to be the oldest living person at 119 years old.
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Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: William McGee, Agency: Newsflash
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