Wonder pills for the middle-aged and other medical advances are extending healthy life as never before. Even people in their nineties can benefit. Sarah-Kate Templeton reports
When Dorothy Newcombe fell ill with heart disease at the age of 92, her family thought she had reached the end of her natural lifespan. One of her seven grandchildren and one of her seven great-grandchildren travelled from New Zealand to say goodbye.
After a new treatment particularly targeted at the elderly, Dorothy is still going strong. She goes shopping with her 94-year-old husband, George, does the housework and is back playing bingo at the local church hall. Dorothy, from Liver-pool, has even managed to dance a few steps of a waltz again.
For any nonagenarian to have a new heart valve is remarkable; what makes Dorothy’s case even more special is that she received one in a procedure that allowed her to walk out of hospital just three days after surgery last October.
Last week she said: “Before the operation I wasn’t at all well. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t bend down. This operation has given me a new lease of life. It has given me a new chance. We can still put on records and have a dance in the house.”