Old Girl from South Africa
Old Girl from South Africa. This little girl with a big heart and bright smile, calls herself the “first lady” and dreams about the future. But doctors say that 12-year-old girl named Ontlametse Phalatse has only a couple of years to live. South Africa Progeria Girl says: “I call myself the first lady, because I am the first black child with this disease… You know even some dark-skinned child with such a disease? “- Said the girl. Ontlametse – the only black child is diagnosed with Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome – a rare and fatal disease, accelerating the aging process. Only two black children suffer from this disease – they both died, one in the U.S., the other in the Netherlands. Children with the disease die from heart failure at the age of 8 to 21 years, suffering from high blood pressure, stroke, angina and heart failure.
Progeria sufferer Ontlametse Phalatse reads to the class during reading lessons at the Lorato Primary School in Hebron, near Pretoria, South Africa. 12-year-old Phalatse, who resembles an ageing woman and is half the size of her classmates. Twice a year Phalatse flies in the Research Center for Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, in Boston, where scientists are trying to find a cure for her disease.