LIFESTYLE

'World's Oldest Woman With Down's Syndrome' Defies The Odds To Celebrate 75th Birthday

Happy birthday Frances 😊 πŸŽ‚

01/08/2016 14:10 | Updated 01 August 2016

Frances Gillett, who is believed to be the oldest woman in the world with Down’s syndrome, has just celebrated her 75th birthday.

Gillett celebrated her big day on Sunday 31 July at the care home where she lives in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

“Frances is really and truly amazing and over the years she has become more than a resident, she is like family,” Wayne Bent, who part owns the care home, told the Mail Online.

“Years ago there was zero expectancy for someone with Down’s syndrome to live such a long life, so for her to celebrate her 75th birthday is wonderful.”

Geoff Robinson Photography
Frances Gillett celebrating her big day.

Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition that typically causes some level of learning disability and characteristic physical features.

Around 775 babies are born with it each year in England and Wales.

When Gillett was born in 1941, people with Down’s syndrome were only expected to live to their mid to late twenties

But she defied the odds and, despite battling breast cancer and tuberculosis, she lived to celebrate her 75th birthday.

Geoff Robinson Photography
Frances Gillett had a "fantastic" day.

To mark her special day, the care home threw Gillett a surprise party at Little Downham Village Hall with family and friends. 

Wayne Bent said it was an “absolutely fantastic day” and told the Ely Standard that Gillett was showered with presents and cards.

Gillett is now believed to be the oldest living woman with Down’s syndrome. 

It is thought that Joe Sanderson, from Cleveland, Lancashire, is the oldest living man with Down’s syndrome. He celebrated his 80th birthday in March.

According to the Down’s Syndrome Association, people with Down’s syndrome today are estimated to live until they are 50 and 60, with a small number of people living into their seventies.

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