What The School Orders This Terminally Ill Student To Do Brought Her To Tears, Makes Her Mom Furious

What The School Orders This Terminally Ill Student To Do Brought Her To Tears, Makes Her Mom Furious

photo by Tony Kershaw

photo by Tony Kershaw

Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a genetic condition wherein an individual is described to have a rapid appearance of aging beginning in childhood. They typically look normal at birth and in early infancy, but then grow more slowly than other. They have prominent eyes, a thin nose with a beaked tip, thin lips, a small chin, and protruding ears. The condition also causes hair loss (alopecia), aged-looking skin, joint abnormalities, and a loss of fat under the skin (subcutaneous fat).

One of the two people recorded in Britain to suffer from HGPS is Ashanti Elliot Smith. Because of her condition, she is not expected to live past the age of 15.

She always wears her favorite pink wig at Oakmeeds Community College, in West Sussex, to cover her almost-bald head. But when she does, her teacher would tell her to remove it saying it might encourage other students to dye their hair.

Her mother, Phoebe, got angry when she learned the news. She told their local newspaper, Argus, that they could not afford human hair wigs and the pink hair her daughter is wearing were donated by friends of the family.

“[Ashanti] was completely devastated when the teacher told her to take the wig off. Of course nobody has naturally pink hair, but we feel that anything Ashanti can do to cheer herself up is brilliant, and should be encouraged. She already feels different to the other children and has had some mean comments but when she was wearing the wig her friends said she looked lovely,” Phoebe told South West News Service.

photo by Tony Kershaw

photo by Tony Kershaw

The school’s headmaster also answered her statement, saying, “In the past other children have worn wigs following serious illness, but ones that were of a natural look – not large brightly coloured ones.Her learning mentor spoke to the head of year about it. It was agreed by the director of inclusion and head of year that Ashanti would wear the wig home but not in lessons because it was not cold in the school and she had never wanted to wear one before.”

Ashanti’s mother responded to the newspaper saying she was so proud of her hair, but what happened disheartened her. “It’s a pink wig, come on, other children would have understood. I have only got a few years left with her so we want her to live it to the full,” she added.

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Sarj Bagalay
Sarj Bagalay 357 posts

Hi, I'm Sarj. An introverted/OCD person who does not talk unless spoken to. When I get stressed out and completely overwhelmed, I just lay down on the floor and pretend to be a carrot--whatever that means.

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