On September 7, Jasmine Beever, a 16-year-old from Skegness, United Kingdom, was rushed to the hospital from her college dorm with stomach pains that turned fatal. Initially they tried resuscitation, but she was soon pronounced dead.
The cause of death was a hairball that had infected the lining of her stomach. This eventually created an ulcer that burst and caused vital organs to shut down. A post mortem revealed she suffered from peritonitis, which is an inflammation of a thin layer of tissue in the abdomen. The autopsy further confirmed it was the hair in her stomach that has caused the ulcer.
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It is believed that the hair came from the teen’s years of compulsive hair eating, a condition called trichophagia. The formation of a hairball in the gastrointestinal tract is medically referred to as trichobezoar, also known as “Rapunzel syndrome.”
According to Newsweek, the family had always assumed that this habit was harmless. Tech Times reports that a friend of the family, Donn Marshall, wrote a Facebook post noting that Jasmine had been chewing on her hair for years and she wants to advise parents to warn their children of the side effects of this habit. “She was such a darling. I am going to miss her terribly,” Marshall told local news outlet Lincolnshire Live.
At this time, there is no medical treatment for this condition, it can only be managed through therapy and habit-reversal training.
Beaver’s friend Billie-Jo Marshall (daughter of Donn Marshall), has set up a Just Giving page to help raise money for the family, “to try and unburden some of the financial strain at such a sad time.” According to the post on the page, Jasmine’s motto was, “Sometimes one act of kindness is all it takes to give someone hope again.”
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