A 16-year-old girl in the UK with Rapunzel syndrome has died after ingesting too much hair. Jasmine Beever, a “bubbly” college student, fell ill and was taken to a hospital on September 7.
Unfortunately, the girl passed away. Her autopsy showed she had peritonitis, an inflammation of a thin layer of tissue in the abdomen.
The teen had a big hairball in her stomach that became infected, causing an ulcer which burst and caused her death. Jasmine suffered from Rapunzel syndrome, which caused her to eat her hair.
Jasmine developed peritonitis after ingesting her own hair
Jasmine, who lived in Skegness, collapsed at her college on September 7 and went home to rest, LincolnshireLive reported. She later came out “in blotches,” according to Donna Marshall, mother of Jasmine’s best friend, Billie.
Jasmine was taken to hospital by ambulance and was initially resuscitated by the emergency response team, but died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
“Jasmine was amazing. She was one of those kids where she would make a sad face in the room smile. She was so bubbly,” Marshall told LincolnshireLive. “Jasmine collapsed at college, she went home to bed and then later she came out in blotches and the rest is sad news. The ambulance came for her and when she got to the hospital she was brought back to life for 15 minutes.”
An autopsy revealed that Jasmine suffered from peritonitis, which is usually caused by a fungal or bacterial infection. Doctors said the peritonitis resulted from the infected hairball –known as trichobezoar—in her stomach, which eventually led to an ulcer that later burst and shut down her organs.
People who eat their own hair are usually diagnosed with Rapunzel syndrome, a condition caused by a psychiatric disorder known as trichophagia, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
Rapunzel syndrome is so rare only 89 cases have been identified
Billie, Marshall’s daughter and close friend to Jasmine, set up a Just Giving page to raise money to cover the medical expenses. As of Thursday evening, the £2,000-campaign had raised £3,187.
“We don’t have a target we will just carry on,” said Marshall. “When we set up Just Giving it lasts for 30 days and we will carry on for that and hand over the money.”
Jasmine attended Skegness Academy up until earlier this year when she started attending a local college. Lead principal Jo Edwards sent her regards to the Beever family and said the Academy community was shocked to learn the news of Jasmine’s untimely death.
The girl’s parents, Michelle Shaw and David Beever, thanked everyone for the support.
“We are extremely upset but we want to thank everybody for all they have done for the family,” said the parents, according to LincolnshireLive.
The syndrome is rare, but not unheard of. Last year, another case of Rapunzel syndrome was reported, when a 38-year-old woman had to get surgery to remove a large hairball in her stomach. The BMJ Case Reports cites that incident as the 89th instance of Rapunzel syndrome that has been recorded. The first case could have been discovered as early as 1700.