When Georgie Wildgust was born with Down Syndrome, doctors told his parents that he wouldn’t live past ten.
But on August 16, Georgie turned 77 years old and probably became the oldest person in Britain who has the condition.
Georgie was with friends and family at the Watcombe Circus care home in Nottingham when he celebrated his birthday. He was smiling the whole time and says an active social life and dancing helped him reach such an age.
Watch the video of the birthday boy below.
[rumble video_id=v5lgic domain_id=u7nb2]
Video credit: Rumble
Georgie’s niece, Nikki Wright, said: “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. But they were wrong. Look at him now.”
Kimberley Taylor, one of the care home’s staff members, told the BBC, “Honestly, every single day you come to work he will make you smile.”
Georgie has been living in the care home since 1993 with 12 other residents, one of them his girlfriend Lorraine, although she had just moved out.
The Down’s Syndrome Association estimates that in the UK, around one in every 1,000 babies is born with the condition. Currently, there are about 40,000 people in the country who have Down Syndrome. Average life expectancy is anywhere between 50 to 60 years old and only a few reaching their 70’s.
Wright said that Georgie is well taken care of which is why he has lived so long.
“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 mom that he can do anything and because of that, he has always been very independent.”
Before retiring into the care home, Georgie worked as a gardener and rug maker. He has two siblings, younger brother Colin, 71, who died three years ago, and his sister, Jean Yessyan, 79, who often communicates via Skype from Australia.
A video was made to honor Georgie and he can be seen dancing and discussing Strictly Come Dancing, one of his favorite shows. Javine Lacey, a care assistant, told the Nottingham Post that Georgie was a “miracle,” adding that he even “bounced back” recently from a few health issues.
For Wright, it’s not surprising that Georgie has been able to power through hard times.