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Hydeia Broadbent dies aged 39: Little girl who shot to global fame after making Oprah cry by revealing she’d been born with AIDS passes away after ‘suffering organ failure’


A 39-year-old woman, who suffered from AIDS since birth and once made Oprah Winfrey cry on-air, has now died due to organ failure, according to reports. 

Hydeia Broadbent shot to global fame at the age of 11 when she shared her heartbreaking story of being diagnosed with HIV with Winfrey, on her namesake show, in 1996. 

Since then, Broadbent had become a HIV/AIDS advocate and spent her life addressing the stigma surrounding the virus, especially during the AIDS crisis in the US in the 1990s when such diagnosis meant certain death. 

But on February 20, Loren Broadbent announced his daughter’s death on Facebook and said she had ‘remained determined to spread hope.’

According to Kimberley R. McCoy, a family member, Broadbent was on dialysis and on life support last year. 

Hydeia Broadbent shot to global fame at the age of 11 when she shared her heartbreaking story of being diagnosed with HIV with Winfrey on her namesake show in 1996

Hydeia Broadbent shot to global fame at the age of 11 when she shared her heartbreaking story of being diagnosed with HIV with Winfrey on her namesake show in 1996

Since then, Broadbent had become a HIV/AIDS advocate and spent her life addressing the stigma surrounding the virus, especially during the AIDS crisis in the US in the 1990s when such diagnosis meant certain death

Since then, Broadbent had become a HIV/AIDS advocate and spent her life addressing the stigma surrounding the virus, especially during the AIDS crisis in the US in the 1990s when such diagnosis meant certain death

But on February 20, Loren Broadbent announced his daughter's death on Facebook and said she had 'remained determined to spread hope.'

But on February 20, Loren Broadbent announced his daughter’s death on Facebook and said she had ‘remained determined to spread hope.’

‘With great sadness, I must inform you all that our beloved friend, mentor and daughter Hydeia, passed away today after living with AIDS since birth. 

‘Despite facing numerous challenges throughout her life, Hydeia remained determined to spread hope and positivity through education around HIV/AIDS,’ the sorrowful father wrote on the social media page. 

Shortly after being abandoned by her biological mother, who was addicted to drugs, in Nevada as an infant, Broadbent was adopted by Loren and Patricia Broadbent. 

But by the age of four, her parents discovered she had been HIV-positive since birth, and had contracted AIDS. 

Until the age of six, the young child was tagging along with her mother, a social worker, as she raised HIV awareness. But soon after began to talk to people about the condition herself.

During her appearance on Oprah, Broadbent revealed that living with the disease was the hardest part of life for her and explained the problems it had caused her

During her appearance on Oprah, Broadbent revealed that living with the disease was the hardest part of life for her and explained the problems it had caused her

After hearing this, Winfrey had begun to well up during the interview

After hearing this, Winfrey had begun to well up during the interview

During her appearance on Oprah, Broadbent revealed that living with the disease was the hardest part of life for her and explained the problems it had caused her. 

‘I had fungus in my brain, blood infections and pneumonia. I went cold blue a couple of times and that was when I was five.

‘A lot of my friends have died of AIDS. Because I don’t have a choice. And I see so many people living recklessly. Just putting their lives on the line. At what point do we get it?  

You are not just dealing with HIV, AIDS. We have to address a person’s mental state because if I don’t feel good and I’m not happy and I don’t want to get out of bed, I’m not going to take these pills to save my life.’

After hearing this, Winfrey had begun to well up during the interview.  

Years later, Broadbent revealed she did not realize that Winfrey had cried. 

‘I actually don’t remember her crying. I remember being on the stage and spending time with her after the show. She introduced me to her dogs and she gave me an All American Girl Addy Doll. Last year when I was featured in Oprah’s Where Are They Now, the response was overwhelming. 

‘I found out I was one of the most requested updates by viewers. So many people feel like they have watched me grow up, and are just excited to know I’m doing well and still speaking out,’ the activist had written on Instagram. 

Years later, Broadbent revealed she did not realize that Winfrey had cried

Years later, Broadbent revealed she did not realize that Winfrey had cried

On her 34th birthday, Broadbent wrote a blog post on her website celebrating the milestone as someone in 'the first generation of children born HIV positive'

 On her 34th birthday, Broadbent wrote a blog post on her website celebrating the milestone as someone in ‘the first generation of children born HIV positive’

A GoFundMe for Broadbent has been launched by her father in order to 'lay her to rest'

A GoFundMe for Broadbent has been launched by her father in order to ‘lay her to rest’

She had also a featured guest on ‘A Conversation with Magic Johnson’ on Nickelodeon in 1992 to raise awareness among children. 

On her 34th birthday, Broadbent wrote a blog post on her website celebrating the milestone as someone in ‘the first generation of children born HIV positive’.

‘These last few years have been extremely difficult; struggles with depression, which reached scary points.

 ‘A depression so dark, I was not sure how I would see the beauty in life again. I was unsure of how I’d pull myself back up. I now have a new outlook, I’m able to now see the blessing’s, and lesson’s from my valley. I am a warrior, I raise each day, with purpose, while still being a work in progress,’ she had written. 

A GoFundMe for Broadbent has been launched by her father in order to ‘lay her to rest’. 

‘Hi I am Loren Broadbent the father of Hydeia Broadbent. Yesterday afternoon Hydeia unexpectedly passed away. Our hearts are broken. 

‘Hydeia spent her whole life since the age of five showing us all how to love, fight, and speak up for those affected with HIV and AIDS. 

‘And as much as I wish she was still here fighting the great fight, God called her home. Letting us all know. Job well done. 

‘In honor of her memory the family would like to lay her to rest. So at this time we are asking for donations. Along with well wishes and prayers. We would like to thank you in advance.’

The crowdfunding page has raised $3,438 out of its $20,000 goal.  



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