Popularly known South African motivational speaker, Ontlametse Phalatse who experienced a rare genetic disorder that caused her to age rapidly died yesterday, April 12, 2017 at a hospital outside of the capital Pretoria.
Definitely one of my fave soldiers. She defines pure strength and humility ? #RIPOntlametse pic.twitter.com/qFd7xszzo5
— K Naomi? (@KNaomi_N) April 12, 2017
The 18 year old is the first South African to be diagnosed with Progeria – a rare abnormality marked by premature aging (grey hair and wrinkled skin and stooped posture) usually in children.
By virtue of being the first Progeria patient, she described herself as ‘the First Lady.’ She managed to live beyond medical prescriptions that said she would live to the age of 14. South Africans expressed their grieves of her death on twitter.
She met with President Jacob Zuma during her 18th birthday. The Presidency thus joined in expressing condolences over her death. The official government handle shared a photo she took with Zuma during their meeting.
We would like to extend our deepest condolences on the passing of Ontlametse Phalatse. Ugqatso lwakhe ulufezile #RIPOntlametse pic.twitter.com/TeXEtr4TVO
— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) April 12, 2017
‘‘A brave young fighter has fallen. May her spirit inspire all others living with disabilities or facing any difficulty, to soldier on as she did and live life to the fullest. We are really proud of her,” President Zuma said.