Due to a severe allergy to dairy, a 13-year-old boy died after being ‘chased with cheese.’
It was reported the cheese was also thrown down his t-shirt.
The event happened on June 28th of last year, midday in Greenford, West London.
Karanbir Cheema was also known among friends and family as Karan.
The boy had a severe allergy to wheat, gluten, all dairy products, eggs, and all nuts — additionally, being asthmatic and suffering from atopic eczema.
According to St. Pancras Coroners’ Court, Karan went into anaphylactic shock in Greenford’s William Perkin Church of England and was unconscious as paramedics attempted to save the boy’s life.
The inquest heard from Kierin Oppatt, a paramedic who was first on the scene, informed the hearing that the 999 operator was told it was ‘just an allergic reaction’ but when he arrived on the scene, Karan was ‘gasping for air’ and had broken out in hives.
Soon after Oppatt and his fellow paramedics arrived, the boy stopped breathing.
Mary Hassell, senior coroner, requested the witness to go back through the unfortunate events of the day.
To which Oppatt responded:
“The call came in at 11.40am. We arrived on the scene at 11.47am. The call came in as just an allergic reaction. On arrival at the scene, I immediately knew it was life-threatening and that the patient had a high risk of going into cardiac and respiratory arrest. We were told by school staff that perhaps someone had chased the patient with cheese and had proceeded to throw it down his t-shirt, that he had an allergic reaction, that he was itchy, his skin was very hot, and that he was having difficulty breathing. Staff had administered two spoons of Piriton, an Epipen and given him his inhaler. When we arrived we saw Karan lying on his back on the floor with [the] teachers around him. He appeared to be in a state of pre-arrest. He had very slow respiration – he was gasping for air. His skin was red and there appeared to be hives.”
Oppatt knew he had to make a call for help due to the severity of the situation but had to go outside the building as his radio could not get reception. Oppatt then went to his vehicle, informing the communications center he needed the assistance of an advanced paramedic and additional crew at the job.
Oppatt then started the process of drawing up inter-muscular adrenaline when his fellow paramedic informed him Karan had stopped breathing.
Both paramedics began to perform CPR on Karan, also administering adrenaline and using a defibrillator while waiting for back up to arrive.
When back up came, Karan was taken out on a stretcher to the ambulance.
The boy died ten days later on July 9th, his parents by his bedside at the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Rina Cheema, Karan’s mother, along with his two brothers and sister were at court on September 19th.
Rina shared that on behalf of her family, they demand answers as she was left devastated over the loss of Karan.
The accountant mother said Karan could have been anything he wanted.
A 13-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder at the time of Karan’s death but has yet to be charged.
Ahead of the full inquest, Detective Sergeant Christian Rodgers read through a list of potential witnesses with the coroner, stating “The person involved is no longer at the school.”
The full inquest is said to be held at a later date.
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