UK teen with severe allergy dies after boy throws cheese slice at him

Karanbir Singh Cheema
Karanbir Singh Cheema died after another boy threw cheese at him. Photo credit: Supplied / Cheema family

A UK court has heard how a 13-year-old boy with severe allergies died when another student threw a slice of cheese at him.

Karanbir Singh Cheema, who was known as Karan, suffered from severe allergies to dairy, wheat, gluten, eggs and nuts.

On June 28, 2017, he was one of a number of pupils lining up for lunch at William Perkin Church of England High School in London, The Independent reports.

Another boy was messing around with his friend and flicked a small piece of cheese - described as half the size of a Post-It note - at Karan.

It made contact with Karan's neck, at which point Karan told the other boy he was allergic to cheese. The culprit apologised and thought no more about it until later that day when he was called to see the principal and told Karan had suffered an allergic reaction.

Karan had been taken to the school sick bay and treated with allergy medication, an epipen and his inhaler, but stopped breathing after a while. He was taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he died 10 days later.

At the inquest into Karan's death, the boy who threw the cheese - who has name suppression - told the court he was unaware of his fellow pupil's dairy allergy, although he did know Karan was allergic to bread.

He said he often flicked food at other people as a joke, and had no intention of hurting Karan.

"I didn't mean any harm," he told Karan's parents from behind a screen to protect his identity. "I'm sorry for what I did."

Karan's mother, Rina Cheema, told the court her son was very responsible about taking care of his allergies and had been in good health the morning of the cheese incident.

She said a consultant at the hospital told her it was unlikely someone could go into anaphylactic shock from having skin contact with food only, The Independent reports.

"In her 30 years in medicine, she was confident that a child wouldn't have an anaphylactic reaction with something going down his neck," Ms Cheema said.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: