Danville rehabilitation center organizes celebration for resident's 111th birthday

Avicia Thorpe credits God, taking care of herself for her long life

By Colter Anstaett - Reporter

DANVILLE, Va. - Friends and family from across the country were at Stratford Rehabilitation Center on Tuesday afternoon to wish Avicia Thorpe a happy 111th birthday.

Thorpe was all smiles.

So, what's her secret to living so long?

"All along, I took the best possible care I could of myself and all the rest of it has been in God's hand," Thorpe said.

Along with the people to celebrate, there were balloons, gifts and a birthday cake.

Thorpe's grandniece, Dr. Adele Allen, thanked the rehabilitation center for organizing the birthday party.

"It's wonderful. We're so delighted. Mrs. Thorpe has resided here at Stratford Rehabilitation Center since she was 105," Allen said.

The center's administrator, Sarah Hazlewood, said the party took months to plan.

"Trying to make sure everything was perfect for the party and make sure all the family and friends could be here with her," Hazlewood said.

Nursing director Katherine Davis said there's never been a resident as old as Thorpe, so organizing a party was a must.

"It's just amazing for somebody to live that long and as full of a life as she has," Davis said.

Of course, no birthday party for a 111-year-old would be complete without singing "Happy Birthday" so after a short prayer, Allen played "Happy Birthday" on the piano and everyone sang.

"The whole (party) just makes me feel wonderful," Thorpe said.

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