Girl Who Never Aged Passes Away
Brooke Greenberg baffled scientists with a rare condition that stopped her aging process. Now, at the age of 20-years-old, she has passed away.
Greenberg never developed beyond the physical size or mental capacity of a 2-year-old child.
The little girl was one of only around a dozen children in the world to have what some doctors named “Syndrome X.”
A colleague of Brooke’s father told ABCNews.com, “The family is doing as well as can be expected. They are going through their traditions this week — the shiva.”
The little girl who never aged was laid to rest on Sunday at a synagogue outside Baltimore.
During a 2009 interview with ABC’s 20/20, the family revealed that Brooke Greenberg weighed just 16 pounds and was only 30 inches tall. Her sisters, Emily, 26, Caitlin, 23, and Carly, 17, were not inflicted with Syndrome X.
The only body parts that grew regularly on the young girl were her hair and fingernails.
During the first six years of her life, Brooke was often rushed to the hospital with medical emergencies. Sometimes, without explanation, she would get better and be sent home. However, her disease, like other children with Syndrome X, took a toll on her body, During her life, she was diagnosed with brain seizures and had surgery performed for seven perforated stomach ulcers.
At 4-years-old, the young girl slept for 14 days and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her family purchased a casket for Brooke after hearing from doctors that she would not survive.
In the 2009 interview with Howard Greenberg, he revealed:
“We were preparing for our child to die. We were saying goodbye. And, then, we got a call that there was some change — that Brooke had opened her eyes and she was fine. There was no tumor. She overcomes every obstacle that is thrown her way.”
Other surgeries and sickness would follow throughout her 20-year life.
Doctors have spent the last 18 years examining Brooke Greenberg’s genetic code, attempting to determine what caused her to stop aging and then suffer from a host of issues.
Children who suffer from Syndrome X watch as their body parts develop as independent parts instead of in a coordinated manner. Because of the condition, the young girl’s body parts all appeared to be in different stages of development.
When doctors examined young Brooke at 16-years-old, she still had her baby teeth and her bone age was estimated to be just 10 years.
Many children with the condition experience deafness or the inability to walk, eat or even speak.
Our sincere condolences go out to the Greenbergs as they remember their beloved daughter Brooke.