Brooke Greenfield, woman who never grew up, dies at 20

brooke greenberg
Brooke Greenberg, held by her mother, had a mystery medical condition called “Syndrome X.”
Credit: Greenberg family

A woman who intrigued doctors and captured media attention for never aging past toddlerhood died last week at the age of 20. Brooke Greenberg died on Thursday and is survived by her parents Howard and Melanie, and sisters Emily, Caitlin and Carly. The funeral was held on Sunday in her hometown of Reistertown, Md.

Greenberg had a mysterious condition that kept her from growing, both physically and mentally. Even at 20 years old, Greenberg weighed just 16 pounds and communicated like an infant, her mother Melanie told Katie Couric earlier this year.

But doctors couldn’t find any genetic abnormalities with Greenberg and had never seen another case like hers, leading them to call her condition “Syndrome X,” according to a 2005 report by Dateline. Scientists believed she might have held the key to the fountain of youth and injected her genes into fruit flies to see if they would make the flies live longer, according to Yahoo! Shine.

Alas, the Greenbergs had been prepared for her death for a long time, as their daughter had many medical complications. Even in 2005, they told “Dateline” they had picked out caskets at funeral homes before.


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