Hayley Okines, who was well-known as the ‘100-year-old teenager’ due to a rare genetic condition responsible for aging, left for the heavenly abode on Thursday in England at the age of 17.
The news of her demise was announced by her mother, Kerry Okines, in a Facebook post.
“My baby has gone somewhere better. She took her last breath in my arms at 9:39 pm,” Kerry wrote in her post on the social networking site.
Hayley, from Bexhill in East Sussex, was suffering from a rare genetic disorder, known Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, which made her age accelerate as much as eight times the normal rate.
She had recently received treatment for pneumonia in the hospital where she breathed her last few days later.
17-year-old Hayley had shared her pain and bitter as well as good experiences of life due to the aging disorder in her 2012 autobiography ‘Old Before My Time’.
“The easiest way to explain it is it’s like my body is 100 years old when I am actually 14. But I don’t like it when people call me old, because I don’t feel like I am 100 years old,” Hayley wrote in her autobiography.
At the time, the brave Hayley said that she wasn’t concerned about dying.
“They said the Titanic wouldn’t sink but it did, so that proves experts can be wrong and I want to prove the doctors wrong,” she wrote.
“Sometimes people ask me if I could have three wishes, would I wish I didn’t have progeria? And I say no. My life with progeria is full of happiness and good memories. Deep inside I am no different from anyone. We are all human,” an optimistic Hayley wrote in her autobiography.
The Progeria Research Foundation also offered a heartiest tribute to Hayley on its Facebook page.
“The entire Progeria family mourns together with many as we say goodbye to Hayley Okines, our smart, beautiful and spirited English Rose, who passed away today at age 17. Gone from our sight, but never our memories, gone from our touch but never our hearts. We will miss you,” the Facebook post reads.
It was Hayley’s willpower and self-confidence that indeed helped her in living years longer than most of her doctors expected after carrying pioneering drug treatments in the United States.