On November 3, 2017, a supervising adult at a preschool in Harlem, New York, gave 3-year-old Elijah Silvera a grilled cheese sandwich.
It wasn’t long after Elijah ate the sandwich that he started exhibiting some troubling side effects. Instead of calling 911, the school called Elijah’s mother, who rushed him to the hospital.
Elijah went into anaphylactic shock and died at the emergency room.
This is a tragedy that should never have happened. According to the GoFundMe page set up for Elijah’s family, the grilled cheese sandwich was given to him “despite them knowing and having documented that he has a severe allergy to dairy.” Elijah’s parents had provided the preschool with all the proper medications and paperwork surrounding his food concerns and needs.
According to FoodAllergy.org, allergy to cow’s milk is the most common food allergy among infants and young children — and about 2.5% of children under the age of 3 are allergic to milk.
Elijah’s grieving father says the dairy allergy was something so simple, it could have easily been avoided yet was simply “pushed to the side.”
The facility has since been closed, and there’s an ongoing investigation into the shocking death.
The family kept on fighting on Elijah’s behalf, so children with severe allergies are properly cared for and that this never happens to another family again.
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