‘Maybe a key to long life is gratitude’: Myrtle Beach man celebrates 100th birthday

On his 100th birthday Saturday, Oscar Sanchez decided he didn’t need his walker to get to his party after his physical therapy session.

Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Encompass Health in Little River, threw the party to celebrate Sanchez, one of the facility’s patients since Aug. 1, according to a release. He came to the rehab center after a fall while picking pears from a tree in his yard, causing him to fracture his neck.

“I survived, and I had the strength to keep going,” Sanchez said about overcoming sickness and other challenges during his life.

Surrounded by family, friends, patients and staff, Sanchez, a Myrtle Beach resident, was showered with hugs, cards and gifts.

“Just seeing him walk from therapy to the day room today on his 100th birthday just touches me,” said Deirdre Faulk, nurse supervisor at the inpatient rehabilitation hospital. “It is a huge, huge accomplishment.”

The “superstar patient” has shown humor and gratitude during his time at the center, the release states.

“He is just always pleasant and smiling,” said Peg O’Hearn, a registered nurse at the rehabilitation hospital who came in Saturday on her day off for the birthday party. “He’s always so nice and is always thanking the staff. Maybe a key to long life is gratitude.”

The Sun News Reporter Hannah Strong is passionate about making the world better through what she reports and writes. Strong, who is a Pawleys Island native, is quick to jump on breaking news, profiles stories about people in the community and obituaries. Strong has won four S.C. Press Association first-place awards, including one for enterprise reporting after riding along with police during a homicide. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Winthrop University.