Teen with severe dairy allergy died after his classmates 'chased him with cheese'
An inquest has heard that a London teenager died from an severe allergic reaction, after he allegedly had cheese thrown down his T-shirt while at his school.
Karanbir Cheema, who was 13 years old at the time of the incident, was taken to hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest at William Perkin Church of England High School in Greenford on 28 June last year, where he stayed for 10 days before tragically losing his life.
The 13-year-old was reportedly severely allergic to wheat, gluten, all dairy products, eggs and all nuts.
St Pancras Coroner’s Court heard on Wednesday that Karanbir was in a state of anaphylactic shock when found by emergency services at the school in late June last year. Kieran Oppatt was the first paramedic on the scene, and recalling the incident, he discussed the state in which the young boy was found.
"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... He appeared to be in a state of pre-arrest, he had very slow respirations, he was gasping for air. He appeared to be suffering from an allergic reaction. His skin was red and there appeared to be hives... "
Upon being discovered, Karanbir was treated with two spoons of Piriton, an inhaler as well as an epipen designed to help treat an anaphylactic shock. It did not have the desired effect, however, and soon Karanbir went into cardiac arrest. Oppatt said that this was the point where he received help from a colleague to help save the boy's life.
Along with the colleague, Oppatt began to perform CPR on the 13-year-old, giving him adrenaline and administering a defibrillator while they waited for further medical support to arrive on the scene. Once the support arrived, Karanbir was then taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital, staying there for a further 10 days before he died on July 9.
Rina Cheema, Karanbir's grieving mother, is demanding answers following her son's death, saying the 13-year-old had learnt how to successfully manage his allergies, and as a result, lays the blame at the feet of the school as well as the other boys involved in Karanbir's severe allergic reaction. “I am devastated as a mother after losing my son and my family have lost their brother,” she said.
"He was extremely bright – he knew very well how to manage his condition. I brought him up by myself. I trained him to read all about his condition. We want answers."
Detective Sergeant Christian Rodgers, explaining a list of potential witnesses with the coroner ahead of the inquest, described the alleged throwing of cheese that eventually led to Karanbir's death as "pupil on pupil".
Another schoolboy had initially been arrested in relation to the event on suspicion of attempted murder, but while he is no longer at the school, he has not been charged as yet.