A 14-year-old Russian model has died after a grueling 12-hour fashion show in China.
Vlada Dzyuba reportedly collapsed just before walking out onto the catwalk in Shanghai, The Siberian Times reported.
The teen was found to be suffering from chronic meningitis “compounded by severe exhaustion” and remained in a coma for two days before she passed away.
Vlada reportedly collapsed after her temperature soared while she was waiting for her next appearance.
It is believed that the young model was too ‘scared’ to ask for medical help and was working well over her contract of a maximum three hours a week.
It is alleged that the 14-year-old was unable to be taken to hospital for treatment because she did not have medical insurance, despite being on a three-month contract with a prominent Chinese modeling agency.
It is unclear who is to blame for her not having medical insurance.
The recruitment of young female models in China is on the rise, often between 14 and 16, from Russia and especially Siberia to work at catwalk shows.
The topic was uncovered in a documentary Extreme Model Factory by presenter Reggie Yates in his 2015 Extreme Russia series.
Vlada’s mother was not able to reach her daughter before she died, and she told the television programme NTV: “She was calling me, saying ‘Mama, I am so tired. I so much want to sleep.”
“I didn’t sleep myself and was calling her constantly, begging her to go to hospital,” she added.
Vlada’s family has contacted the Russian state to ask for help finding answers.
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