Mary’s get well balloon ...21 years old and counting

Mary Wallace who was bought a helium balloon in 1995 after a hip operation and it's still going strong 21 years later. (Pic George McLuskie).
Mary Wallace who was bought a helium balloon in 1995 after a hip operation and it's still going strong 21 years later. (Pic George McLuskie).

A Glenrothes family are celebrating the 21st birthday of a close friend ... nothing unusual in that, until you realise it’s a helium balloon that has ‘come of age’.

For the get well soon gift that eldest daughter Michelle bought for mum Mary Wallace in 1995 after a hip replacement, is still going strong - a staggering 21 YEARS later.

The teddy bear shaped balloon remains as inflated as the day it was bought from a shop at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy and has even outlived the family’s three pet dogs and two cats.

“It’s lasted so long it has become part of the family,” mum Mary told the Gazette.

“People think we’re joking when we tell them, many find it hard to believe, but it’s true.”

Mary thought the balloon would last just a few months when she took it home after her operation in Kirkcaldy all those years ago.

And for the next 17 years the bear shaped balloon, which is attached to a stick, stood next to a rubber plant until it died.

Since then it has resided in the kitchen and because of it’s ‘advancing years’ has received special attention in recent times.

“It’s well looked after that’s for sure, I’d be devastated if anything was to happen to it,” Mary said of the balloon that is three years older than the eldest of her five grand children who recently turned 18.

“It’s now attached to an orchid and sits in the kitchen, everyone’s careful when they are around it, it’s not to be disturbed in case anything happens to it.

“It’s certainly been a good buy, it has to be the best value balloon ever bought,” she joked.

Mary is convinced it’s something to do with the atmosphere in her home as she revealed she has a second balloon which is just a couple of years younger that the bear, having been bought in 1997.

“Maybe it’s the atmosphere?

“Either way, it’s quite special to have not one but two balloons that have lasted so long.”

And grandmother Mary has told the Gazette that the whole family have to be very careful when ever doing things close to the balloon, or on the rare occasion when it has to be moved.

“It just keeps on going, it’s amazing really, it is showing no signs of ‘letting us down’ any time soon,” she laughed.