- Hayley Okines, a girl with a rare genetic condition which made her body age eight times faster than normal has died at the age of 17.
- She was so petite and didn't appear to be growing because of Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome.
- But her life was extraordinary: she has featured in a number of documentaries about her disorder, travelled all over the world, met Prince Charles, Kylie Minogue and her hero Justin Bieber.
Hayley Okines, from Bexhill, East Sussex, became known as the 100-year-old teenager through her efforts to raise awareness of progeria. She was being treated for pneumonia, and had briefly returned home from hospital on the day she died.
Hayley, who published an autobiography at the age of 14, had made a number of appearances where she spoke about her condition. She has featured in a number of documentaries about her disorder, including The Girl who is Older than Her Mother and World's Oldest Teenager: Extraordinary People, and at the age of 14 published her autobiography called Old Before my Time.
"When she was born she had fine blonde hair, blue eyes and her father and I were besotted with her." Hayley's mother Kerry said. "At 10 months she walked for the first time – we were so proud. The only concern was she was so petite and didn't appear to be growing. But as I'm only 5ft 4ins I tried to tell myself she simply took after me."
It was when she was still wearing clothes for a three-month-old at 13 months old that they took her to see a doctor and tests later revealed her condition. Hayley has been swimming with dolphins, travelled all over the world, met Prince Charles, Kylie Minogue and her hero Justin Bieber.
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome causes accelerated ageing in those affected. People with the condition also suffer heart problems, lack of growth and loss of body fat and hair. It affects just 124 children worldwide.
The Progeria Research Foundation posted: "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."
Her mother, Kerry, announced Hayley's death on Thursday evening.
"My baby has gone somewhere better. She took her last breath in my arms at 9.39pm," she wrote. "She came home for an hour and she saw her puppies, little brother Louie and her sister Ruby. I think she wanted to come home to say goodbye to everybody."