I dropped my first gba in a tub full of water while I was having a bubble bath. I heard it fizz and crackle. I quickly put it on the radiator (with the batteries out. I'm not THAT stupid). It miraculously worked after that but the screen was a bit weird. Still working to this day lol.
I had four growing up. I had bad luck with my GBAs! My first one was pink, and it fell out if my pocket and into the toilet. My second was silver, and I left it on a plane in the seat pocket, and never got it back. I went swimming with one, and I still have the fourth, which is purple. I promise I take better care of my stuff now!
Growing up I did quite well actually and always looked after my things, so I only ended up having two Gameboy Advances. It would have been only one but the first one I managed to drop out of a car window believe it or not, so the chances of that one surviving was minimal to say the least!
I've known people have had three or four in the past though and they've either been dropped, lost or stolen. I think if I managed to lose three I wouldn't buy anymore because I'd clearly not be fit to own one and I'd just give up, haha!
I think that if your still managing to play on the very first console you ever owned and it's still working as well as it ever has, then you've done well. While I wouldn't go as far as to say that handheld consoles are designed to only last a certain number of years, I do think that a lot of the time, maybe even just from prolonged use, they don't appear to last as long as other devices, no matter how well you look after them.