19-Year-Old Disney Actress’s Death Sheds Light on Rare Disease

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Credit: Disney/Canva

The death of a young Disney actress on Friday is shedding light on a rare disease that affects muscles in the body and can ultimately lead to complications such as lung disease and heart disease.

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Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Suhani Bhatnagar, a Disney actress in India, died on Friday. She was 19. Per a report on NDTV, the young actress succumbed to an illness caused by an infection related to a rare disease called dermatomyositis. She was hospitalized at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where she ultimately developed a fatal infection.

Her father, Sumit Bhatnagar, talked briefly about the events that led to his daughter’s untimely death, saying that “her lungs [were] damaged due to an infection and accumulation of excess fluid.” He further stated that his daughter had been put on a ventilator, but “there was no improvement.”

young girl and her father

The young actress with her father in 2017/Credit: X/SuhaniBhatnagar

Related: Official Cause in the Death of Beloved Disney, Pixar & Star Wars Actor Finally Released

According to Johns Hopkins Medical Center, the term dermatomyositis is used to describe a group of muscle diseases that are often characterized by muscle inflammation. In patients who suffer from this rare disease, progressive muscle weakness follows inflammation of the muscles.

Symptoms of the disease can include red or purple rashes on skin that is exposed to the sun, as well as on the eyelids of affected patients. Other symptoms include calcium deposits under the skin, trouble talking or swallowing, and muscle fatigue and weakness. There’s no cure for dermatomyositis, but treatment can help to relieve symptoms of the disease.

Bhatnagar was best known for her portrayal of Babita Kumari as a child in the Disney film Dangal. The drama was co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures India and Aamir Khan Productions. According to The Hindustan Times, the film saw huge success at the box office following its 2016 release.

The film is an Indian biographical sports drama about Mahavir Singh Phogat, a father who teaches his two daughters to wrestle and the journey his daughters experience on their way to victory.
It’s based on the real-life story of Geeta Phogat, India’s first female wrestler to win the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in 2010, and her sister, Babita Kumari, who won the silver medal in the same competition. The film is titled Dangal, as it is the native name of a popular wrestling site in India, and was released on December 23, 2016.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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