The family of a little girl with a rare condition called Progeria Syndrome, which left her ageing eight times faster than her friends, have confirmed that she has has passed on at the age of 8.
Lucy Parke was diagnosed with Hutchinson Gilford Progeria Syndrome – more commonly known as Progeria – shortly after birth.
The rare genetic condition is believed to affect just one in four million people and tends to present symptoms resembling aspects of ageing from a very early age.
The brave youngster’s mum, Stephanie, posted a message on Facebook to let friends and supporters know her daughter had passed away, unable to fight for life any longer, Belfast Live reports.
The family, from Ballyward, Co Down, Northern Ireland, said: “We have lost our precious Lucy.
“Her body was weak but her heart was strong.
“Her love for life and wonderful smile made us proud to be her parents.”
It is understood the ageing process in people with the condition is around eight times faster than people without it.
Lucy had written a poem for her mummy to mark Mother’s Day.
Now Parents Stephanie and David have penned a special message for their daughter.
They released on Facebook for Lucy today.
They wrote: “Our special girl could fight no more,
“Her body was weak but her heart was strong,
“Her love for life and wonderful smile,
“Made us proud to be her parents.
“We have lost our precious Lucy,
“The past year was hard and our hearts are broken,
“And tears are flowing.
“Just photos, videos and memories left.
“But your life was not in vain,
“We know you are in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ.
“We are so thankful for everything you have taught us, the hugs, the laughs and smiles you gave us.
“The last eight years have been amazing, thank you Lucy and thank you God.
“We will miss you every single day. Daddy, Mummy, Jake, Jenny and Ben.”
Lucy’s family had set up the Lucy Parke Progeria Fund to help improve their little girl’s life and they were supported by prayer circles and support across the community.
There is still no cure for Progeria but doctors and researchers around the world are continuing the work to developing new ways of treating it.