Boy With Dairy Allergy Dies After School Gives Him Cheese Sandwich

Dina Hawthorne / Facebook

A three-year-old child had died after having a severe allergic reaction to a grilled cheese sandwich at his pre-school.

Elijah Silvera was rushed to hospital after going into anaphylactic shock at the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services in Harlem, but later died, on November 3.

The Department of Health is currently investigating the incident after the school was subsequently shut down on Wednesday.

Dina Hawthorne / Facebook

New to the school, Elijah’s family informed members of staff he was severely allergic to dairy.

They wrote on a GoFundMe page:

On November 3rd, 2017, our beloved Elijah was playing peacefully at his pre-k in Harlem, NYC, when he was given a grilled cheese sandwich by an adult at the pre-k, despite them knowing and having documented that he has a severe allergy to dairy.

Elijah went into anaphylactic shock and was taken to the Pediatric ER at Harlem Hospital, where, tragically, they were unable to save him.

Elijah leaves behind his heartbroken mother, Dina, father, Thomas, and his 5-year-old brother Sebastian, as well as dozens of friends and family members who all mourn the loss of his precious young life. Elijah was three years old.

Right now, our family is immersed in our grief, but we are also facing an overwhelming list of financial and practical matters, all related to Elijah’s untimely death.

Dina Hawthorne / Facebook

The school is currently undergoing its own investigation into why the guidance given by Elijah’s parents was so devastatingly dismissed.

His family described the death as ‘completely preventable’, saying ‘we can and must do more to protect our children from life threatening allergic reactions in the US schools’.

They added:

Our family is only beginning the long and painful process of adjusting to a world that does not include Elijah in it.

As we ease into this unthinkable reality and say goodbye to our sweet, joyful Elijah – and our hopes and dreams for all he would become – we thank you for your support.

It’s an unimaginable time for everyone who loved Elijah, in particular for his 5-year-old brother Sebastian, who struggles to understand that his brother is truly gone.

We dread the upcoming holiday season without our little boy. We are lost.

Dina Hawthorne / Facebook

Speaking about the financial matters they now face, the family has laid out some reasons why they have started a GoFundMe.

They are as follows:

Cooked meals delivered to the family home so that Dina, Thomas and little Sebastian can rest and mourn and begin to heal without having to worry about shopping and cooking

Financial support for time off work

Funeral & Memorial Expenses

The cost of a second and independent autopsy. Here’s why we need it: at this moment, it is unclear where responsibility for Elijah’s death will fall between the pre-k and the hospital itself. There are protocols that both the hospital and preschool must follow. We want to find out exactly what caused Elijah’s death.Having a third party medical examination will ensure our ability to get a clear picture. We just want justice for Elijah.

You can donate to Elijah’s family here