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Hayley Okines, a teen trapped in a 104-year-old’s body, dies at 17

Harry Crowther and Hayley Okines, right, in England. Okines was 13 at the time of this photo. (Neil Turner/Barcroft Media/Getty Images file)

A 17-year-old who suffered from a rare genetic condition that left her with the body of an elderly woman has died.

Hayley Okines had progeria, which meant that as a child, her body aged at a rapid rate — eight times faster than the average person. She was known as Britain’s 100-year-old teenager.

The Telegraph reported that Okines, who had sought treatment in the United States, had “the body of a 104-year-old.” According to the BBC, Okines had been hospitalized recently, but had gone home before her death.

The BBC noted that her mother, Kerry, announced Okines’s death on Thursday night, writing: “My baby has gone somewhere better. She took her last breath in my arms at 9.39pm.”

“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,” the Progeria Research Foundation posted on Facebook. “‘Gone from our sight, but never our memories, gone from our touch but never our hearts…’ We will miss you.”

Okines had released two books about her life with the condition, “Old Before My Time” and “Young at Heart,” and she had discussed progeria in interviews.

“I don’t feel like I’m 96,” she said several years ago. “Everyone says I’m like all my friends and stuff. [They say] ‘How old are you, really?’ I’m like, I’m 12.”

[Meet the man who spent 12 years trapped inside his body watching ‘Barney’ reruns]

She was also the feature of multiple documentaries, including “The Child Who’s Older Than Her Mother.”

The attention brought Okines some measure of fame, her mother once said, according to the Mirror.

“We decided that if she wasn’t going to live long, at least we would make her life special and pack it with wonderful memories. So she’s been swimming with dolphins, traveled all over the world, met Prince Charles, Kylie Minogue and Justin Bieber … She’s often instantly recognizable and has mini-celebrity status.”

Three years ago, Okines also met the Wanted, a British boy band that has since gone on hiatus. On Friday, one of the group’s members, Nathan Sykes, paid tribute to Okines.

Okines passed away a little over a year after the death of American teenager Sam Berns, subject of the HBO documentary “Life According to Sam.”

Berns also suffered from progeria, and both the New England Patriots and the Boston Bruins paid tribute to Berns after his January 2014 death.

Okines “had been told she would not live past the age of 13,” according to the BBC.

But she blew past that prognosis. As the materials accompanying her second memoir, 2014’s “Young at Heart,” noted:

“As she approaches her 17th birthday, four years beyond the average life expectancy, Hayley looks forward to an independent and healthy future and tries hard not to think of what lies ahead.”

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[This post has been updated.]