Teen Dies After Being Hit With Cheese
LONDON – A teenager who bullied another student in his class by throwing cheese at him claimed he had no idea that “allergies could be fatal” during an inquest into the 2017 death of a 13-year-old boy who suffered anaphylactic shock after being hit in the neck by a piece of cheese.
Karanbir Singh Cheema, who went by Karan, had a severe allergic reaction after he was intentionally struck in the neck by a chunk of cheese that his classmate hurled at him on June 28, 2017, while attending school in Greenford, West London.
During a judicial hearing, one of the two boys that were involved in the incident said he was aware that Karan was allergic to bread but had not known about his dairy allergy. The now 15-year-old boy said he pelted Karan with the cheese because it was common “immature behavior.”
“I thought maybe he would get a fever or a rash and miss school for a while… I didn’t know it could lead to death,” the teen said.
When Karan was hit by the cheese, the allergic reaction immediately began, sending him into anaphylactic shock. School staff administered an antihistamine, EpiPen as well as Karan’s inhaler, but Karan had stopped breathing before paramedics arrived. The paramedics said Karan was covered in hives. Karan was taken a hospital for treatment and died 10 days later.
“I didn’t mean any harm. I’m sorry, I’m sorry for what I did,” the teenager plead during the hearing.
The other boy, who had handed his friend the cheese, said he knew Karan had a dairy allergy but claimed he didn’t know that cheese was a dairy product.
“At the time, I didn’t know dairy was cheese. Milk and yogurt, I would say that was dairy. I knew he was allergic to some things, dairy and pollen,” he said, according to the Telegraph. “I knew he probably had more (allergies), but I was only informed of the other ones.”
Karan’s mother, Rina Cheema, said when she arrived at a hospital that she was told it was unlikely skin contact with food could cause a person to go into anaphylactic shock.
A person who worked at the school, Rajvnder Sianai, said an Epipen kept at the school had expired a year earlier in 2016. Karan’s mother was informed about that in February 2017.
The hearing is expected to last several days.