She laughs easily, smiles a lot and loves company, with this 70-something-year-old enjoying a fresh confidence in her day-to-day living.
Fun-loving Shirley Foster, a passionate gardener and keen modern sequence dancer can’t wait for some sunshine and watch her collection of blooms spring into life.
“I love my collection of poppies. They look stunning with their large colourful flower heads and gardening is a real therapy,” she says.
Admitting she “is very privileged to be so fit”, Shirley walks wherever she can – she doesn’t drive – and for the first time in years is living life with spontaneity she has not known for years. Not that she has ever failed to embraced the chance to wring every last drop of living out of live, but troublesome teeth and ill-fitting dentures were for ever eroding confidence.
Her problems began when she was at school and a life dogged with dental issues followed.
“My two front teeth went bad and had to have crowns fitted on posts. It was the days of the school dentist and I had to go – everyone dreaded it. I had never been in so much pain with the treatment.
“I religiously attended the dentists every six months to try and keep out of trouble, but as the years went by I seemed to pick up more problems and gradually started to lose my teeth with one abscess after another.
“For 30 years or more, I’ve had a partial top plate, but it kept breaking. The bottom plate was worse as it seemed to have a mind of its own.”
Refusing to be beaten by her ill-fitting dentures, Shirley, a former employee at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital, carried an essential denture rescue package wherever she went.