Rapunzel Syndrome: Teen dies after eating her own hair

Jasmine Beever (left) with best friend Billie-Jo.
Jasmine Beever (left) with best friend Billie-Jo. Photo: Billie-Jo Ashwell

A young girl who may have been suffering Rapunzel Syndrome has died suddenly after eating her own hair.

The 16-year-old student from the UK died due to an infection caused by a hairball in her stomach.

Jasmine Beever was taken to hospital by ambulance, but attempts to save her were unsuccessful.

Rapunzel Syndrome is an extremely rare medical condition called trichophagia, which sees people swallow their own hair, according to Trichstop.

The condition can be fatal as the human body can't digest hair and over time it forms a tangled mass in the digestive tract, blocking it. Surgery is usually required to remove the hairballs.

In Beever's case, an autopsy revealed that she suffered from peritonitis, which occurs when the thin membrane covering the abdominal wall is inflamed. This is generally caused by a bacterial or fungal infection.

An infected hairball in her stomach, lead to an ulcer that caused her organs to shut down.

One of her best friends Billie-Jo Ashwell set up a Just Giving page to raise funds for the family to cover medical expenses.

"Anyone that knew Jasmine knew what a wonderful, caring girl she was," she wrote on the fundraising page.

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"She had a real zest for life. She would always offer a helping hand for anyone that was struggling or offer her shoulder and a hug to anyone that was having a bad day.

"The heartbreak this family has endured in such a short time is understandably gut wrenching, so I decided to raise funds for the family to try and unburden some of the financial strain at such a sad time."

Billie-Jo's mother Donna said Beever lit up the room.

"Jasmine was amazing," Donna told LicolnshireLive.com.

"She was one of those kids where she would make a sad face in the room smile. She was so bubbly."

Beever's parents thanked everyone for their support during this most difficult time.

"We are extremely upset but we want to thank everybody for all they have done for the family," they said.