Wednesday, 15 August 2018 14:04

Man with Down’s Syndrome celebrates his 72nd birthday

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A man with Down’s Syndrome has celebrated his 72nd birthday – surviving five times his life expectancy.

Terry Culley was given a life expectancy of just 14 at birth, and didn’t learn to walk until he was ten years old. Often people with the condition often don’t live past their 50s or 60s, and when Terry was born in 1946 the life expectancy was much lower. Terry, who’s an avid film lover, has lived in the same care home for 27 years, at The Laurel, in Swindon. He can speak, but sometimes needs an interpreter to help communicate. Care home manager Susie Clavery said: ‘He keeps active and he has very good care and support, which helps him stay healthy. ‘He was really poorly earlier this year and had to spend three months in hospital with sepsis and pneumonia. ‘We weren’t sure if he would pull through but he’s back to his old self now.
‘He wants to do everything, he’s such a loving and caring guy who’s always eager to help out.’ Susie says Terry absolutely loves singing, dancing, playing the harmonica and the drums. He also takes part in fitness classes, mows the lawn and helps care for the care home’s vegetable patch. Gabbie Hillier, part of the Laurel’s staff team, said: ‘I think moving here has really improved his quality of life. ‘He’s very cheeky, very determined, and has a real zest for life.
‘He also loves his films, all those films behind him are his and every his time his brother Eric comes over they watch one.
‘He also likes going to the Outlet and walking into town, going on holidays and day trips. Terry keeps fit for a man his age.’ Terry is going to be having a little party to celebrate turning 72, and the care home hopes to get the Salvation Army musicians to play – as he used to play drums for them.