Meet Georgie WIldgust, he’s just celebrated his birthday and turned 77, what makes Georgie so special is the fact that he was told he would not live over the age of 10. Georgie is not only the oldest person in Britain with Down Syndrome, but one of the oldest in the world.
It’s quite amazing the Georgie has made it to 77 after Doctors warned his parents and family that he would not make it to his teenage years, but defying all odds, he’s lived a long happy life filled with dancing and socializing. He’s worked as a gardener and a rug-maker and is now retired.
Georgies niece, Nikki, pays him a weekly visit and says it’s wonderful that he’s still here.
“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.
“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.”
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.”