Hayley Okines, one of just 60 or so known people with progeria, died at age 17 earlier this week. Progeria, an extremely rare medical condition, causes the people it affects to age roughly eight times as fast as a typical healthy person.
Symptoms of the genetic disorder usually start to appear during the first two years of life. While motor skills and intelligence develop normally, people affected with progeria typically show symptoms of below-average height and weight, hair loss, thin, spotty or wrinkled skin, as well as disproportionally large head, among other indicators.
Those affected with progeria have severely shortened lifespans, most not living past age 13. Hayley Okines thanks in part to participating in the trial of a new drug to treat her condition, was able to live to the age of 17 and passed away peacefully on April 3rd.
You can read more about Hayley’s courageous story here, or watch a short documentary about her below.