A man with Down’s syndrome who was given a life expectancy of 12 has just celebrated his 77th birthday.
Kenny Cridge was officially recognised as the world’s oldest man with the condition by Guinness World Records in 2008.
And he celebrated his milestone 77th birthday on February 15 at the Wisteria House care home in Tintinhull, Yeovil, Somerset, where he has been living for the past five years.
Born in 1939, doctors initially thought Kenny was stillborn when he arrived with twin sister Dorothy, and he wasn’t expected to live past his 12th birthday.
However, he has enjoyed a long life and is said to still be in good health.
Ann Nicholson, manager of the care home, 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 Kenny was born, his mother Iris had no idea she was carrying twins and only realised when daughter Dorothy was born moments after him.
His sister also lived into adulthood, but died some years ago and Kenny 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.
Niece Marie Shotton previously said of her uncle Kenny: “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.
Top pic: SWNS