When Georgie Wildgust was born with Down syndrome in 1942, doctors told his mother he would not live past the age of ten. Last month, he turned 77 years old.
His family gathered at his care facility in Nottingham, England to celebrate. Niece Nikki Wright stated:
He is so happy all of the time. He is amazing. His mum was told he wouldn’t live past 10 when he was born but look at him now!
He was always told by his mum that he can do anything and because of that, he has always been very independent. He doesn’t like being told what to do really but I do think that is why he has reached 77.
Wildgust worked as a gardener before he retired, and he still keeps busy with activities at the care facility. He especially loves expressing his creative side; he took drama classes for a while and loves dancing, karaoke, and art. Care assistant Javine Lacey describes:
He could colour in for hours. He absolutely loves it. He also only watches BBC1 on TV. He will know if it isn’t on the right channel straight away.
He is such a miracle. He has been through some medical issues this year and he was put on end-of-life care but he bounced right back.
At 77, Georgie is one of the oldest living people with Down syndrome. Georgie’s longevity is a testament to the advances made in caring for individuals with Down syndrome.
Thirty years ago, the average life expectancy of an individual with Down syndrome was only 25 years; now it is 60 years. At the Jerome Lejeune Foundation, our goal is to enable more people with Down syndrome to live long and full lives like Georgie. By supporting us, you can further advances in research, care, and advocacy to ensure that the quality of treatment and life expectancy for individuals with Down syndrome continues to increase.