Oldest living man with Down syndrome-world record
set by Bert Holbrook
WASECA, MN, USA-- Bert Holbrook ( b. 24 August
1928), born in Waseca to Bert and Lillian Holbrook, has set
the world record for the Oldest
living man with Down syndrome.
Bert Holbrook was born in Waseca
in a time when people with Down syndrome lived to an average
age of nine years, institutions were the norm and medical
care was minimal, according to experts.
Photo: County News/Ruth Ann Hager (enlarge
But Bert Holbrook, Jr. was raised by his
parents at home and helped them in the family’s meat and grocery
store where he “socialized with everyone,” said Pat Foley,
his nurse at Elm North, an intermediate care facility where
he lives today.
For 60 years he was a familiar face around town
and everyone knew him as Junior.
Even today, Foley said, people who see
him out about town call out to him, “Hey, Junior; how’s it
going?” In his youth, Junior was mildly developmentally disabled,
she said, but with aging comes dementia. Now, he is considered
severely disabled, has a hearing loss, and doesn’t like his
Holbrook went to live at Elm Homes in 1984 and
moved to Elm North in 2004 (owner Gene Miller).
At Elm North, Junior lives with seven female
residents. “He’s the king,” said Foley, who has worked with
him for 18 years.
“He’ll love the attention it brings because
he is very social,” Foley said about Junior. “He’s just a
cool guy,” she said, and she’s happy for the positive attention
Junior’s birthday may bring to him.
Once a week he spends the day with Melissa
Stoltz, who is his “favorite.”“He’s a trouble maker,” Stoltz
said with a grin. “Now he’s my favorite.”
Holbrook’s 90-year-old sister in Indiana
is very excited about the record for her brother and Foley
is happy for the publicity the World Record has brought to
Holbrook and others.
“I want everyone to know how awesome this
population is,” she said about the Down syndrome community.
“They’re real people, not statistics.”
By 2005 the age expectancy of a person with Down
Syndrome had risen to 55 years because of home care or smaller
facilities and better medical treatment.
Onsite Report by News Editor Ruth
Ann Hager/ courtesy of Waseca County News
Related world records:
Mother-world record set by Omkari Panwar
person-world record set by Edna Parker
Human Calculator-world record set by Alexis Lemaire
Ear-world record set by Lasha Pataraia
powerful Human Magnet-world record set by Aurel Raileanu
waist-world record set by Cathie Jung
person in the world is Ukrainian Leonid Stadnik
December 31, 2008