Babies

Hayley: The 96 Year Old Schoolgirl

PriscillaOct 22 2013, 346 views

Hayley Okines is one of the most recognisable faces of progeria, an incredibly rare condition that causes signs of old age in children. Occurring just once in eight million people, the genetic mutation physically ages a sufferer's body eight times faster than normal. With unique, intimate access to Hayley and her family, this documentary follows the young girl over a three-year period, beginning with her trip to Boston to start medical trials in 2007.

Over the past three years, there have been small signs that things are improving for Hayley -- tiny hair growth on the arms, a gain in height, a general feeling of wellbeing.

In 2009, the family was told that another drug treatment had been found to have even more promising results. With no time to wait for official results from the first trial, Hayley's parents were faced with a big decision -- should they take another giant leap of faith in medical science?

Alongside the medical story, this film follows Hayley as she starts secondary school -- something her parents thought would never happen when she began infant school in 2002. Will results from the drug trial enable her to look forward to a future beyond school?

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