KINGSTON, Jamaica – The son of a woman believed to be the oldest person in the world died at their home Wednesday in Jamaica at the ripe old age of 97.
Harland Fairweather, who had recently been ill but had seemed to recover, awoke saying he felt dizzy and then deteriorated over the course of the morning, said Elaine McGrowder, one of two family caretakers who were at the home at the time.
“He had been unwell for some time but we didn’t expect him to go like this,” McGrowder said.
Fairweather lived with his 117-year-old mother, Violet Brown, in the rural northwestern Jamaican community of Duanvale. He was born and raised there but spent much of his life in Britain, the caretaker said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “He was a beautiful man — very, very special,” she said.
Brown is considered to be the oldest person in the world with credible birth documentation, according to the Gerontology Research Group, a network of volunteer researchers into the world’s oldest people.
Guinness World Records, considered to be the official arbiter of the oldest person, said it was still researching a number of candidates for the new world’s oldest person title following the death Saturday of 117-year-old Emma Morano of Italy.
This story has been corrected to say that his first name is Harland not Harold.