LIFESTYLE

World's Oldest Person With Down's Syndrome Celebrates 77th Birthday

He was given a life expectancy of just 12.

23/02/2017 10:45 GMT | Updated 23/02/2017 16:02 GMT

The world’s oldest person with Down’s syndrome has celebrated his 77th birthday at his care home in Britain. 

Kenny Cridge was born in 1939 and doctors initially thought he was stillborn when he arrived with his twin sister Dorothy. 

He was given a life expectancy of just 12 but was officially named the world’s oldest living man with Down’s syndrome in 2008 by Guinness World Records. 

SWNS

Kenny reached the milestone at the Wisteria House care home in Tintinhull, Yeovil, Somerset, on February 15.

Mr Cridge has been at the care home for the last five years and is still in good health. 

Manager of the care home, Ann Nicholson, said: “Since his birthday last year, he has maintained general good health with no significant changes. 

“He is happy and always has a smile for everyone - Kenny can brighten anyone’s day with his smile and his laughter. 

“He’s very affectionate and loves having kisses and cuddles, he often says ‘cuddle me’. 

“Kenny is one in a million and we are so lucky to have him in our lives at Wisteria House.” 

When Mr Cridge was born his mother Iris had no idea she was carrying twins and only realised when daughter Dorothy was born moments after him. 

Doctors initially thought he was stillborn and laid him to one side to care for his sister but after he began to show signs of life they resuscitated him. 

Dorothy also lived into adulthood, but died some years ago. 

Mr Cridge lived with his mother in Hinton St George, Somerset, until she passed away in her 90s. 

He then moved in with nephew Kevin Griffiths before arriving at the care home. 

Staff said he still enjoys playing his harmonica, eating sweet treats and joking with fellow residents.  

Niece Marie Shotton said during a previous interview: “Now people with Down’s syndrome are treated equally and respected, but my nan said that back in the day it wasn’t like that. 

“She fought a lot of battles for him and really devoted her life to Kenny. 

“His father Samuel, who adored him as his little boy, had a bike with a side car, and Kenny used to drive around in it to go to the local pubs. 

“He’s marvellous and people in the village where he grew up still ask about him.” 

The world’s oldest man with Down’s syndrome was Bert Holbrook from Minnesota in the United States, who was 83 when he died in 2012. 

The oldest surviving woman with Down’s syndrome is believed to be Dollie Grissom, 74, from Oklahoma, US. 

In the 1940s the average life expectancy for people with his condition was just 12 years old. 

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