Fourteen year-old model dies in China after 13 hour work day

Vlada Dzyuba, a 14-year-old model from Russia, went into a coma after a 13-hour work day in China on Wednesday, The Siberian Times reports. She was rushed to the hospital and died Friday, October 20.

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The teen had been on a three-month assignment in Shanghai with modelling agency, Essee, during which she was only supposed to work three hours a week due to her age. However, her modelling contract kept her working much longer, despite the fact she was suffering from meningitis.

Official newspaper The Global Times report that she died of 'multiple organ dysfunction syndrome', citing medical records, but it is understood tests are still being conducted. The young model was reportedly 'scared' to seek hospital treatment because she did not have medical insurance, although her mother begged her to seek medical advise. 

“She was calling me, saying 'Mama, I am so tired. I so much want to sleep’,” her mother told NTV. “It must have been the very beginning of the illness. And then her temperature shot up. I didn't sleep myself and was calling her constantly, begging her to go to hospital.”

There is no doubt that this could have been avoidable, and that the agencies involved with Vlada's career did not have her best interests at heart. 

Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.

Stacey Hendrickson