103-year-old celebrates birthday with hundreds of cards after beating coronavirus

Wilfred Goddard was sent 300 cards by well-wishers

Wilfred Goddard was sent 300 cards by well-wishers - Credit: Leiston Old Abbey Residential Home

Suffolk centenarian Wilfred Goddard was shocked and delighted after hundreds of well-wishers sent cards to help him celebrate his 103rd birthday. 

Staff at the Leiston Old Abbey Residential Home, wanted to make sure resident Wilfred Goddard would have a day to remember, despite the current coronavirus limitations. 

Mr Goddard is a fairly new resident to the home and before arriving there had suffered from the coronavirus before recovering. The home itself has had no cases. 

"We thought it would be nice for people to send him cards," said Sharon Morrison, manager at the carehome. 

"103 is a big birthday. I thought it would be a big thing."

Wilfred Goddard was shocked by the amount of cards he received for his birthday

Wilfred Goddard was shocked by the amount of cards he received for his birthday - Credit: Leiston Old Abbey Residential Home

The message went out on the care home's Facebook page for people to send in cards for Mr Goddard and they did not disappoint. 

So far Mr Goddard has received over 300 cards from wellwishers.

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"They are still arriving," said Mrs Morrison. 

Mrs Morrison said the response to the carehome's call for cards had come as a surprise with some people going the extra mile to ensure that Mr Goddard got as many cards as possible. 

"I put it on a management group and  a care consultant sent the appeal to everyone in his email inbox," she said. 

"I've had hundreds of comments on Facebook and people sharing it. It's lovely."

Mr Goddard is said to have been very pleased with his special birthday delivery. 

"He thought it was fantastic," said Mrs Morrison. 

"He was shocked."

Wilfred Goddard looks over photos and cards sent for his 103rd birthday

Wilfred Goddard looks over photos and cards sent for his 103rd birthday - Credit: Leiston Old Abbey Residential Home

Mrs Morrison said that staff had helped Mr Goddard to go through all of his special cards. 

"They would open five or six at a time and then he would have a rest," she said.

The cards helped to bring back special memories for Mr Goddard.

"He did a lot of reminiscing," said Mrs Morrison. "People sent him old photographs."

As well as opening lots of cards on his birthday, Mr Goddard and staff at the care home got all dressed up to enjoy the occasion with Mr Goddard even wearing his old regimental tie. 

"We try and make every birthday special," said Mrs Morrison. 

She said marking the occasions not only helped to improve the quality of life of those living in the home but also the staff working there.


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