The oldest man in Britain with Down Syndrome is George Willgust. According to the globaldownsyndrome.org website, the average lifespan of a person with Down Syndrome is 60 years old. But George surpassed it.
Recently, he celebrated his 77th birthday!
George made his family and the people around the world wonder how he lived for so long despite his medical condition. He was staying at a care home who made sure that Georgie Willgust had a blast during his special day last August 16th.
They organized a small party for George. During his big day, George was all smiles and he looked extremely happy. He was also surrounded by his loved ones, his family, and friends who made sure they were at the Watcombe Circus care home in Nottingham. This is where George lived for the last 25 years.
When George was asked what his secret is to his long life, his answer was dancing and having an active social life.
Nikki Wright, George’s niece, visits him regularly at the home. She shared that the reason why her unclue has loved for so long is that he has always been well taken care of. She 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.” She added, “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.”
George worked as a gardener and a rug maker before he retired and entered the care home in 1993. He lived at the care home with 12 other residents who also became his best of friends. One of them became his girlfriend. Her name is Lorraine who just moved out recently.
One of the care home staff members named Kimberly Taylor said, “Honestly, every single day you come to work he will make you smile.”
Wright also shared that George was always told by his mom that he can do anything that he wanted to do. This is the reason why he became very independent. George has two siblings. He had a younger brother named Colin who died at 71 around three years ago. He also has a sister named Jean Yessyan who is 79-years-old and is now living in Australia. George would often chat with her over Skype.
In a video that was made to honor George on his birthday, he gave people a glimpse of his life. He was asked about his favorite program and he answered, “Strictly Come Dancing,” a very popular dance show in Britain.
According to Javine Lacey, the assistant at the care home, George is a ‘miracle.’ She talked about how he bounced back from his recent illness and health issues. But according to his niece, this is nothing extraordinary for her uncle. She said that George doesn’t like being told what to do but she thinks that this is why he reached 77 years old.
Life is all about fighting to survive. This is what George Willgust has proved to everyone. Illnesses and health problems can come our way, but our perseverance to live longer will always give us the positivity that we need to keep ongoing.