According to the Daily Mail, a teenager with ‘Benjamin Button’ disease that left her with the body of a 144-year-old has died weeks after her 18th birthday. Benjamin Button disease
The media outlet said Ashanti Smith, from West Sussex, passed away on Saturday, July 17, after living with the ultra rare premature aging condition Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome, which saw her age eight years for every year of her life.
It added, despite her body being the equivalent of a 144-year-old when she passed away, Ashanti was still able to enjoy turning 18 in May with a night out, drinking her favourite cocktail.
The teen died with her mother, father Shaine Wickens, 33, and a family friend, Kayleigh Cartwright, 25, by her side – with some of her final words to her mum being ‘you’ve got to let me go’.
Her mother,Phoebe Louise Smith, insists that despite her serious condition, she was determined to be treated like any other teenager.
She said: ‘She was louder – louder than me – and I’m a very loud person.
The mother added that ‘her condition affected her mobility to walk as far. She had a broken hip and it had to be set back in three times, then eventually it came out again and she just walked with a broken hip.
She continued: ‘She struggled but she said “Mum, I love you. You’ve got to let me go”.’
On Monday, the family paid tribute to Ashanti, with Phoebe explaining: ‘We set off 150 helium balloons for her and a £400 display of fireworks, then we’re doing 300 lanterns.”