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Man given 9 months to live survives 45 more years after moving to ‘blue zone' island

Man given 9 months to live survives 45 more years after moving to ‘blue zone' island

He moved back home to a Greek island from the United States

A man managed to 'cheat death' by moving to a 'blue zone' island after being told that he only had nine months to live.

It was back in 1976 when Stamatis Moraitis was given the terrible news that he only had nine months left to live following a lung cancer diagnosis.

After receiving the news, Stamatis decided to leave the US - where he'd started a life and a family - and return to his home island of Ikaria in Greece.

There, he planned to 'start drinking wine and wait for the day'. I can think of worse ways to spend one's final months.

But after he returned to Ikaria, Stamatis found that he was actually starting to feel stronger as the months went by.

Then eventually, the ominous nine month marker came and went, but Stamatis managed to stick around.

Stamatis Moraitis was given just nine months to live back in 1976.
BBC

Stamatis eventually died in 2013, some 45 years after his diagnosis and at the ripe old age of 98, though he claimed to be 102.

Speaking to the BBC about the secret to his longevity, he joked: "I'm no doctor but I think the wine helped."

Astonishingly, the island of Ikaria has a nickname, also being called 'the island where people forget to die'. Sign me up.

It's actually what is called a 'blue zone' - an area with an unusually high life expectancy.

Typically, in a blue zone people will live on average ten years longer than in other parts of Western Europe.

As for Stamatis, he attributed his longevity to eating locally sourced foods, including wine, as well as living a stress-free life. Sounds blissful.

Ikaria Island.
Ⓟ Panagiotis Papadopoulos/500px/Getty Images

He would even refuse to consume wine which was too commercial, due to the additives which would be put into it. Instead he would bring his own with him wherever he went.

But why exactly do people who live in 'blue zones' live for such a long time?

One theory is that the food which is produced in these areas happens to coincide with that doctors would recommend for a healthy diet.

The so-called 'Mediterranean diet' has the right proportions of vegetables, protein, and healthy fats, as well as being low in sugar. All these are good things.

I wouldn't mind waking up to that every day.
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While genetics do also play a part in how long someone can expect to live, mechs have said that lifestyle is a huge part of this.

Decisions around diet, exercise, as well as habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol, all have an impact on someone's life expectancy.

There is, of course, also an element of luck as well. Being hit by a bus might put a dampener on things regardless of your diet, and certain chronic conditions including mental health conditions can also have an impact on life expectancy.

But for Stamatis, it seemed that sunshine, good food, wine and peace were enough for 45 years.

Featured Image Credit: BBC / Ⓟ Panagiotis Papadopoulos/500px/Getty Images

Topics: World News, Health