Tuesday marked 27 years of living past life expectancy for Pike

When Joey Pike was born, doctors told his parents that he probably would not live past the age of 3. Pike, born with Marshall-Smith syndrome, celebrated his 30th birthday on Tuesday.

Pike’s mother, Sandra Pike, said it is likely that her son is the longest-living person with his condition. “I don’t know of any other,” she said. “All the doctors have searched and they haven’t been able to find anyone that lives past the age of 3.”

According to, Marshall-Smith syndrome was first described in 1971 and since then only 50 children and adults with the syndrome have been identified worldwide.

Pike’s parents founded the Tuscaloosa branch of the Eagles’ Wings program, an organization that provides rehabilitation services to adults with special needs.  They saw a need for a center that could cater to adults with disabilities that are more medically fragile.

“We want there to be a safe, loving, Christian home for these individuals,” Jerry Pike said. “We want it to be like a family unit.”

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