Man With Down Syndrome Wasn't Supposed to Live Past 1st Birthday — Now He's 65

Buddy got a birthday photo shoot.
Photographer Brittany Cook

His family marked his birthday with a special photo shoot.

This man wasn't supposed to live past his first birthday. But now he's 65 — and celebrating in a very special way.

Buddy Wood was born with Down syndrome. His parents were told he wouldn’t make it past the age of 1. Now that he's lived 65 amazing years, his family wanted to mark the occasion with a photo shoot.

“It was very common for babies born with Down syndrome to be placed in an institution,” photographer Brittany Cook told “Buddy's parents of course did not do that and brought him home to live with his siblings. At the session, Buddy's sisters said the reason he has lived to be 65 is because he was shown nothing but love and his parents took the best care possible of him.”

Cook said Wood, who now lives in Florida with his sister, was visiting family in Virginia last month when his niece proposed doing the shoot. Buddy’s niece also invited a local toddler, 2-year-old Sutton, who also has Down syndrome, to join Buddy in the pictures. 

The results were priceless. 

“The shoot was wonderful. Buddy was so loving to everyone he met,” Cook said. “He just hugged and kissed all of our hands. As soon as Sutton and he held hands, he kissed Sutton's hand. It was such a special connection.”