Bexhill; Teenager With Progeria Dies At Age Of 17
A campaigner who raised awareness of the condition progeria which causes those affected to age eight times faster has died at the age of 17.
(Our picture shows Hayley, aged 4 at the Children of Courage Awards with Billie Piper in 2002)
The death of Hayley Okines, from Bexhill, in East Sussex, who became known as the "100-year-old teenager'', was announced by her mother Kerry on her Facebook page.
She wrote last night: "My baby has gone somewhere better. She took her last breath in my arms at 9.39pm.''
The Progeria Research Foundation posted 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.''
Hayley and her family had fundraised for her medical treatment and to raise public understanding of the condition, and the teenager published her autobiography at the age of 14 called Old Before My Time.
Hundreds of comments have been left on Hayley's Facebook paying tribute to the teenager.
Ann Morrison wrote: `"Praying for the family and friends of Hayley. God bless you Hayley. Your positive outlook and willingness to share your life's journey with us has been very much appreciated.''
Former Uckfield Community College pupil, Rory Graham, has been nominated for Best Breakthrough Act at next month's Brits.
Police investigating reports of drug dealing in Thanet have recovered a taser, knuckleduster and kitchen knife.
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