Funeral for ‘old age’ teenager


Published: Wednesday 15th April 2015 by The News Editor

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The funeral service of a teenage girl who was afflicted by a rare premature ageing condition will take place today.

Hayley Okines, 17, died in her mother Kerry’s arms on April 2 after living with progeria, which causes those affected to age eight times faster.

Ms Okines, from Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, announced to her followers on Facebook that Hayley had “gone somewhere better”.

The death of Hayley, known as the “100-year-old teenager”, prompted a host of tributes, including from pop star Justin Bieber who tweeted his 62 million Twitter followers: “RIP Hayley”.

The Progeria Research Foundation – which is striving to discover treatments and a cure for the condition – said the world had lost a “smart, beautiful and spirited English rose”.

The PRF said there are around 125 children living with progeria in 43 countries. It said children with progeria die at an average age of 14 of the same heart disease that affects millions of normally-ageing adults.

Hayley and her family had raised funds for her medical treatment and to raise public understanding of the condition, and the teenager published her autobiography aged 14 called Old Before My Time.

Ms Okines said on Facebook that Hayley’s open funeral service will take place at All Saints Church in Sidley, Bexhill-on-Sea, from 12.15pm.

Published: Wednesday 15th April 2015 by The News Editor

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