Sad! South African girl who suffers from rare genetic disorder dies (photos)
By Rita Chioma
After much struggle to live, the 18-year-old South African, Ontlametse Phalatse, who suffered from Progeria, a rare genetic disorder which causes rapid premature aging, has passed away.
The small girl with big personality passed away on Tuesday night at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa, outside Pretoria.
She was one of two South African girls living with Progeria. Her doctors predicted that she would only survive until her 14th birthday but she lived to celebrate her 18th birthday.
Last month, President Jacob Zuma fulfilled her wish to meet him.
Meanwhile, the Phalatse family has released a statement, saying Ontlametse was surrounded by her mother, brother, family members and friends, as she breathed her last.
“It is with great sadness to inform you of the passing of our first lady, Ontlametse Ntlami Phalatse,” read the statement. “Our hearts are filled with pain and sadness but Ontlametse — as we know her — would want us to carry on with her courageous spirit.”
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, commonly known as progeria, is an extremely rare condition where a child ages eight times faster than normal and hence has a much shorter life span than children their age. Such children usually die from a heart attack or stroke.