Doctors had given Ontlametse Phalatse at least until 14 years to live due to her condition. She suffers from a rare disease that causes premature aging called Progeria.
The now 17 year old is celebrating a milestone, never thought she would live to see.
This young lady looks like an old lady but Ontlametse Phalatse who resides in South Africa, is the first black kids to be diagnosed with the condition called progeria.
This syndrome is rare, and it causes children to age much faster. Presently they have found only 140 black African kids with this disease.
|With her mother, Bella on her 16th birthday|
The condition is passed through genes from one generation to another. Unless a special test is conducted, you cannot tell if a baby has it or not. All such babies are born healthy looking. However, progeria is incurable, and it kills kids fast. The average life expectancy for such children is only 13 years.
Growing up has not been easy but with support she has been able to live a normal life.
Here is what Ontlametse says:
“I call myself a first lady because I’m the first black child with this disease.”
Her body does not grow, and she gets stiff joints. Her hair falls off, and she loses the body fat as if she was timeworn. The brain of the child remains unchanged, and she is fit for schooling.
Ontlametse is set to have a normal life. Other kids think she has AIDS since she is so small and skinny. Kids bully her. She says:
“I don’t care what people say about me, I would like to be a psychologist so that I can work on the problems of other people and so that they can accept the way that they are because they can see that I accept the way I am.”
Awww, all the best, girl!