Rapunzel Syndrome Caused The Tragic Death Of A Teenager

By Megan Decker

On September 7th, 16-year-old Jasmine Beever of Skegness in the United Kingdom was rushed from her college dorm to a local hospital, Lincolnshire Live reported. What originally presented as a stomachache quickly proved fatal, and after fifteen minutes of resuscitation attempts, Beever was pronounced dead.

The cause, it turned out, was an infected hairball that was sitting in her stomach. The infected clump of hair caused an ulcer, and when the ulcer burst, it resulted in complete organ shut-down and, ultimately, her untimely death.

Postmortem scans revealed a bit more clarity about Beever’s condition. The scans showed that she suffered from peritonitis, which is inflammation of the tissue lining the abdomen, Lincolnshire Live explained. The peritonitis diagnosis confirmed that it was the hair found in the stomach that caused the inflammation and the ulcer.

But how did the hair end up in her stomach? According to Newsweek, Beever was suffering from a disease known as trichophagia, or compulsive hair-eating, commonly referred to as Rapunzel Syndrome. This can lead to the formation of a hairball, medically referred to as a trichobezoar. When it blocks the intestinal tract, the consequences can be deadly.

It was revealed that Beever was in fact suffering from trichophagia. Donna Marshall, the mother of Billie-Jo Ashwell, a friend of Beever’s posted on her Facebook page that Beever had often compulsively chewed and sucked her hair, Tech Times reported.

In her memory, Beever’s friend, Billie-Jo Marshall, has set up a Just Giving page to help raise money for the family. On the page banner, Billie-Jo Marshall wrote, “Jasmine’s motto in life was ‘sometimes one act of kindness is all it takes to give someone hope again.'”

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