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Pensioner With Down's Syndrome Prepares To Celebrate His 72nd Birthday

Rebecca Shepherd

| Last updated 

Pensioner With Down's Syndrome Prepares To Celebrate His 72nd Birthday

A man with Down's syndrome is preparing to celebrate his 72nd birthday after defying doctors by surviving five times his life expectancy.

Terry Culley, 71, was given a life expectancy of just 14 at birth and did not learn to walk until he was ten-years-old.

But the avid film-lover has repeatedly beaten the odds to reach the ripe old age of 71,making him among the country's oldest people affected by Down's syndrome.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Often people with the condition do not live past their 50s or 60s, but when Terry was born in 1946 the life expectancy was much lower.

The musician, who used to play drums for the Salvation Army, turns 72 on August 25, according to the MailOnline.

Terry, who can speak but sometimes needs an interpreter, has lived in the same care home for 27 years, at The Laurel, in Swindon, Wilts.

Care home manager, Susie Clavery, said: "He keeps active and he has very good care and support, which helps him stay healthy.

"He was really poorly earlier this year and had to spend three months in hospital with sepsis and pneumonia.

Terry pictured with carer, Ann Bowler Credit: SWNS
Terry pictured with carer, Ann Bowler Credit: SWNS

"We weren't sure if he would pull through but he's back to his old self now.

"He wants to do everything, he's such a loving and caring guy who's always eager to help out.

"Terry likes singing, dancing, playing the harmonica and drums, takes part in a fitness class, mows the lawn, and helps care for our vegetable patch."

Gabbie Hillier, part of the Laurel's staff team, said: "I think moving here has really improved his quality of life.

"He's very cheeky, very determined, and has a real zest for life.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

"He also loves his films, all those films behind him are his and every his time his brother Eric comes over they watch one.

"He also likes going to the Outlet and walking into town, going on holidays and day trips. Terry keeps fit for a man his age.

"He's having a little party here with his family, friends and a few surprises in the afternoon. We're hoping to get Salvation Army musicians here because he used to play drums for them."

Happy birthday, Terry - you have a ball.


Two weeks ago, the world melted when they saw the viral video of these siblings.

The younger of the two has Down's syndrome and his big bro got a huge tattoo of the LAD's face inside the mouth of a lion.

The boys' mum, Soares Sheila, posted the pictures and video on to Facebook with the caption: "Look at my puppy's reaction to the beautiful tribute, his face tattooed inside a lion's mouth. The video is EXCITING. That's why I saw Rafa asking Erick to make brave face"

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Inspirational, Down's Syndrome, Community

Rebecca Shepherd
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