A teenage boy from London, Karanbir Singh Cheema, was severely allergic to dairy and died after a fellow student flicked a piece of cheese at him, an inquest heard.
Karanbir, 13, went into anaphylactic shock soon after the piece of cheese, said to be half the size of a Post-it note, was flicked at him in June 2017.
According to The Telegraph, the boy who threw cheese, now 15, told inquest that he did not know it would lead to death and said “I didn’t know it would kill him.” Addressing Karanbir’s family the boy, who cannot be named, said, “I just want to say that I didn’t mean any harm – I’m sorry, I’m sorry for what I did.”
Karabir was severely allergic to wheat, gluten, all dairy products, eggs and nuts and he was also asthmatic and suffered from atopic eczema. On June 28, 2017, after the incident he suffered a serious allergic reaction at William Perkin Church of England High School in Greenford, West London, and school staff administered piriton, an EpiPen and gave him his inhaler. However, when paramedics arrived he was “gasping for air” and had broken out in hives, and stopped breathing shortly after. He died ten days later in hospital with his family by his side.
The boy who threw cheese said he knew Karanbir was allergic to bread but was unaware of his dairy allergy. He said, “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.” When asked why he had flicked the cheese, the boy responded that it was “usual behaviour in year eight”.
A statement from Karanbir’s mother Rina was also read in which she said that her son was “diligent” about his allergies and skin condition and was in good health the morning he died. She added that when she arrived at the hospital she was told by a consultant that it was unlikely that skin contact with food could cause someone to go into anaphylactic shock. The inquest into Karanbir’s death is expected to last three days.