A Massachusetts 14-year-old died Friday hours after he took part in the so-called “One Chip Challenge” — a viral social media trend that the teen’s family believes contributed to his sudden death, according to reports.
Harris Wolobah, a sophomore at Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester, consumed an exceedingly spicy Paqui chip at school and quickly developed a stomach ache, his mother Lois told NBC 10 Boston.
Wolobah was picked up by family and brought home and started to feel better, but was later found passed out right as he was going to leave for basketball tryouts, his mom reportedly said.
The young teen was rushed to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.
A cause of death has not been confirmed with autopsy results pending.
Wolobah’s mother Lois told NBC 10 Boston that she believes her son died from complications due to the spicy snack.
The chip’s company warns on its website eating the chip could have adverse medical effects.
Part of the challenge tests how long a person who ate the chip can last before eating or drinking anything else for relief.
The Paqui brand says on its site that the chip should only be eaten by adults. It also advises people should seek medical assistance if they have trouble breathing, fainting or prolonged nausea.
“After touching the chip, wash your hands with soap and do not touch eyes or other sensitive areas,” the brand states.
This year’s chip contains Carolina Reaper Pepper and Naga Viper Pepper, according to the website.
Worcester public school chief said the school community “lost a rising star in Wolobah.
“As a mother and educator, I cannot imagine how hard this is on his family, friends and teachers,” Worcester Schools Superintendent Rachel Monarrez, Boston 25 reported.
“My heart goes out to all who knew and loved him.”
His basketball coach for the St. Bernard’s church team, Douglas Hill, called him a hard worker dedicated to his craft, according to WCVB.
“I feel for the family,” Hill said. “I feel for him, and this is just one of those situations where it’s not his fault.”
Tufts Medical Center Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine Dr. Lauren Rice told the outlet when someone eats a spicy food, the results can range from mouth or lip burning to heart issues.
“Sometimes, we see people with a lot of chest pain, or they’ll experience palpitations, as well,” Rice said.
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