RUPERT, Idaho — According to the CDC's most recent statistics, the average lifespan for a Down syndrome patient is 47 years. Rupert resident, Bryce Walker, is 76-years-old and lives with Down syndrome, making him one of the world's oldest surviving Down syndrome patients.
Bryce's lifelong dream has been to get on television, and today that dream became a reality.
Bryce currently lives with his 99-year-old mother at his home under hospice care. His mother still manages to cook, clean, and keep him happy.
"I'm surprised I can do it. At my age, people are amazed that I can take care of him," said Jean Walker, Bryce's mother.
Due to being under hospice care, Bryce also has a caregiver, Bethany Allen, who helps him and his mom. Both Bethany and Jean admire Bryce's admiration for the simpler things in life, such as his old cat and his affection for flowers and his photo albums.
Both women commend Bryce on his outgoing and loveable personality, greeting nearly every he meets with a handshake and a hug. "He just loves everybody, and he loves to see them, he's so anxious whenever anybody comes," said Mrs. Walker.
Bryce and his mother have lived together for 55 years in Rupert, and the love they have for one another is nearly unmatched, especially since Bryce is Mrs. Walker's only child.
"Well, I'm happy that he has lived this long. I don't know what I would've done without him," said Mrs. Walker
Bethany Allen also said, "It's just amazing, she will sit here on the couch and hold his hand and rub his stomach when it's hurting or whatever. The love between the two of them is just phenomenal."
Having lived well beyond the average of Down syndrome patients, Bryce's attitude and mentality towards life is inspiring. Allen has been so moved by working with the family; she feels everyone could take away a lesson from them.
"They can teach us so much if we just take the time to sit and listen, everybody is different, you know, everyone has a story," said Allen.
Now that Bryce's TV dream has been accomplished, he is looking forward to his next birthday, "On the first day of May, I'm 77!"Bryce's mother, Jean, will be turning 100 just one month after Bryce.