Georgie Wildgust turned 77 this year on August 16, and he celebrated his special day surrounded by family and friends at the Watcombe Circus care home in Nottingham.
A British man with Down syndrome recently celebrated his 77th birthday, and it's a milestone that several people believe have made him the oldest person in the United Kingdom with the disorder, according to People. Georgie Wildgust turned 77 this year on August 16, and he celebrated his special day surrounded by family and friends at the Watcombe Circus care home in Nottingham, according to SWNS. Wildgust was smiling ear to ear on his big day, and say dancing and an active social life helped him in reaching 77. “It’s amazing for him to get to this age. My grandma was told he would not live past 10-years-old because of his Down syndrome,” Wildgust’s niece, Nikki Wright, told SWNS.
Britain's Oldest Man with Down Syndrome Celebrates 77th Birthday: 'It's Amazing' to See This Age https://t.co/4LN0yZpnp5— People (@people) September 19, 2019
“But they were wrong. Look at him now.” Wildgust moved into the care home in 1993, and since then he's lived there with 12 other residents. That also includes his girlfriend Lorraine, who just moved out, Wright said, according to the BBC. “Honestly, every single day you come to work he will make you smile,” said Kimberley Taylor, a staff member at the care home, according to BBC.
Bless him🙏🏻 may he make many, many more happy years ♥️— Listen Linda Listen (@Lalindaxxo) September 19, 2019
Wright said that Wildgust has lived so long because he has always been well taken care of. “He still is and they spoil him rotten. He is really happy here and is surrounded by 12 other residents who are around the same age,” Wright said. “He was always told by his mum that he can do anything and because of that, he has always been very independent.” Wildgust worked as a gardener and rug maker before retiring and moving into the care home.
Happy 77th Birthday, Georgie!! When Georgie Wildgust was born his family was given a 10-yr life expectancy for him. Because of the work of organizations like NDSC, Georgie and others with Down syndrome are living long, happy lives. https://t.co/UCDYOXsHR1— National DS Congress (@NDSC) September 3, 2019
He has two other siblings. His younger brother, 71-year-old Colin, died three years ago, and his sister, Jean Yessyan, 79, often chats with him on Skype from Australia. In a video honoring him, Wildgust is shown dancing and talking about one of his favorite shows, Strictly Come Dancing. Javine Lacey, who is an assistant at the care, called Wildgust a “miracle,” and said that he quickly “bounced back” from health issues recently.
Georgie Wildgust, Britain's oldest person with Down's syndrome, celebrated his birthday at the care home where he's lived since 1993. He credits his age to his healthy social life and dancing. pic.twitter.com/s28QKV3vOm— Dose (@dose) September 20, 2019
But Wright said Wildgust powering through hard times is nothing out of the ordinary. “He was always told by his mum that he can do anything and because of that, he has always been very independent,” she said, according to the Post. “He doesn’t like being told what to do really, but I do think that is why he has reached 77.” About one in every 1,000 babies born in the U.K. will have Down syndrome, according to the Down’s Syndrome Association. Approximately 40,000 people in the U.K. are currently living with the condition.
The average life expectancy for a person with Down syndrome is between 50 and 60 years old, with only a few living into their 70s. Now, this is what makes Wildgust truly special.