UK’s oldest person with Down’s syndrome dies just days before 79th birthday

UK’s oldest person with Down’s syndrome dies just days before 79th birthday

 

The UK’s oldest person with Down’s syndrome has died – just days before his 79th birthday.

Robin Smith set a new record when he celebrated turning 78 on October 9 last year at his home in Kettering, Northants.

Pals paid tribute to him, saying he “lit up a room with his twinkly eyes and cheeky smile”.

Robin defied the odds to live an extraordinary life despite his life expectancy being just 12 when he was born in 1941.

Speaking before his death, he had told of his love for dancing and dedication to an active lifestyle.

Tragically, Robin died on September 27 at the Northleigh residential home where he had lived since 1986.

Tributes flooded in on Thursday following the announcement of his death.

Support worker Billy Fulcher said: “Robin was the legend of Northleigh. I was so happy to work with such a caring and special individual.

“Robin was more than a resident to me he became part of my family. He touched everyone’s heart in that way.

“I take great pleasure in knowing I was part of his life.

“He had such a beautiful soul and he had a laugh I will never forget.

“He lit up a room with his twinkly eyes and cheeky smile and no-one that met him could resist adoring him.”

Robin grew up in St Margaret’s Avenue in Rushden, Northants, with his parents Ivy and Sid. He had two older siblings, Elizabeth and Iain.

Iain said: “Robin spent 34 years at Northleigh and this was where he was happiest, with the amazing staff and residents.

“To all the staff I would like to say a massive thank you for their kindness and amazing care and Robin clearly adored them all.”

At his birthday party last year Robin was described as an “amazing” man.

Speaking on his birthday, Robin said: “It’s important to have an active lifestyle and keep as busy as possible.

“I like to do a bit of dancing whenever I can.”

Those who cared for him said he loved a cuddle, karaoke, doing the hoovering, watching his favourite soaps and eating cheesecake and Weetabix.

Robin became the UK’s oldest living person with Down’s syndrome after Kenny Cridge, who previously held the record, died aged 79 last April.

On Friday, on what would have been Robin’s birthday, Northleigh will throw a “night to remember” party to celebrate his life.

Staff will serve up his favourite cake and snacks, sharing their favourite memories of Robin.

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