Oldest Brit With Down’s Syndrome Has Just Celebrated 77th Birthday
A man born with Down's syndrome who was told he wouldn't live beyond the age of 10 has just celebrated his 77th birthday.
Georgie Wildgust is the oldest person in Britain living with Down's syndrome and one of the oldest in the world.
Doctors warned Georgie and his family he wouldn't live to see his teenage years, but he's smashed the odds and credits having a healthy social life and a love of dancing with helping him hit 77.
Georgie celebrated the impressive milestone last month at Watcombe Circus care home in Nottingham, where he's lived since 1993.
His niece Nikki Wright, 44, who visits him every week, said: "We're all very proud of him.
"It's amazing for him to get to this age, my grandma was told he would not live past ten years old because of his Downs Syndrome. But they were wrong. Look at him now.
"It's probably because he has such a lovely childhood with my grandma and granddad and when he came into the home as well, he really was looked after. 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.
"He was always told by his mum that he can do anything and because of that, he has always been very independent.
"My grandma was a dress maker and granddad worked down the pit. They lived together in Nottingham and the kids always went out to play in the middle of the square.
"Nobody picked on him, they all took him under their wing and looked after him. It was one big happy community who looked out for each other. So, he's always been very sociable.
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"Back then doctors just wrote people off who had Down's syndrome as they weren't classed as 'normal'.
"It was awful really, but Georgie has always had a strong network of family and friends around him and that's why he's done so well.
"He doesn't like being told what to do really, but I do think that is why he has reached 77."
Georgie previously worked as a gardener and rug-maker before taking his well-earned retirement and now he spends his days concentrating on his hobbies - including dancing and going out for dinner.
Nikki added: "He likes going out for dinner, colouring books and especially dancing.
"It keeps him young and he loves watching Strictly Come Dancing on a Saturday.
"He also enjoys going the seaside and having fish and chips and ice cream. Every week we Skype each other and have a chat with my sister who lives in Australia.
"I think being kept busy and socialising here has really helped him. The staff are amazing, and it is such a family here.
"He's got a girlfriend Lorraine, but she just moved out and I think he misses her a bit. But she still comes to visit him, and they chat on Skype as well.
"The staff here realise the importance of these friendships and it keeps them all going."
Happy birthday, Georgie!
Featured Image Credit: SWNS