- Ontlametse Phalatse was laid to rest on Friday
- She was the first black girl diagnosed with progeria
- She died soon after her 18th birthday after defying a life expectancy of 13 years
Ontlametse Phalatse, the first black girl diagnosed with progeria who died on April 11 soon after celebrating her 18th birthday, was laid to rest on Friday, April 22.
Hundreds of people, including South Africa's President Jacob Zuma, attended her funeral held in Hebron in the North West province.
18 doves and balloons were released into the air in celebration of her 18 brave years, during which she defied a predicted life expectancy of 13 years.
Ontlametse's mother, Bella Phalatse, held her composure throughout the proceedings but broke down and had to be comforted by family members when Ontlametse's coffin was lowered into the grave.
Various speakers hailed Ontlametse's brave spirit as well as her bright and bubbly personality, adding that she demonstrated how to live life fully regardless of one's circumstances.
President Zuma said: "Ontlametse will be remembered for her sharp intellect, warm personality, brilliant ideas and her determination to use her condition to motivate others [so] that they can achieve their goals regardless of any challenges."
Ontlametse's brother, Tshimogolo, said he and his family will miss her courage and bravery, adding: “I will remember her for the love she had for God and how she always comforted us."
See some tweets from the funeral below.
A sculpture of Ontlametse was placed atop her tombstone in her honor.
Progeria is a rare genetic condition that causes the body of a sufferer to age at a much faster rate than normal.
Watch more coverage of the funeral in the video below.
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