Three years ago, Hayley Okines was part of a documentary chronicling her genetic condition that caused her to age prematurely. She suffered from progeria, a rare disease that ages the body eight times its normal rate.
Yesterday, the 17-year-old sadly passed away in the arms of her mother Kerry Okines, who posted on Facebook last night:
"My baby girl has gone somewhere better. She took her last breath in my arms at 9.39pm x."
Hayley became well known after she starred in World's Oldest Teenager: Extraordinary People, where at 17 years old, she had the body of a 105-year-old. Kerry spoke about the hell of living with her daughter's disease in a 2013 interview:
"The most difficult part is Hayley has the mind of a normal 13-year-old girl locked in an old person's body. Someone else has to get her a drink as she's too small to reach taps by herself. And buying fashionable clothes is tough because she still wears clothes for a five-year-old."
Hayley lived four years longer than doctors told the Okines' she would. Most progeria patients have a life expectancy of 13 years, normally passing from heart attacks or strokes.
[ Related: Avril Lavigne Has Been MIA For Months & It's Not Because She Was Secretly In Rehab — The Singer Was Diagnosed With Lyme Disease! ]
Hayley always remained positive about her situation, saying in the documentary:
"In many ways I feel I've been lucky. Because of this I've met more people and done more than many do in a lifetime."
In her 17-year life, Haley had traveled all over the world, met Prince Charles and Justin Bieber, and wrote an autobiography about living with progeria.
Our hearts go out to Okines family, and all the lives touched by this inspirational young lady.
[Image via Progeria Research Foundation.]
Tags: hayley okines, health, progeria, r.i.p., sad sad