A 14-year-old student has died after taking part in a viral tortilla chip challenge.
Harris Wolobah, from Massachusetts, died after taking part in the concerning ‘One Chip Challenge’, which involves a person consuming a spicy Paqui Tortilla chip.
After taking part in the challenge, the teenager reportedly developed a severe stomach ache at Doherty Memorial High School.
Wolobah’s bereaved mother told NBC10 Boston that she was called to the school by a nurse on Friday and that her son told her a classmate had given him a chip.
The teenager is believed to have temporarily felt better after arriving home, however, at around 4:30pm his brother yelled that he had passed out.
Wolobah was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The teenager’s heartbroken parents reportedly believe that taking part in the ‘One Chip Challenge’ contributed to their son’s tragic death.
The ‘One Chip Challenge’ is a social media challenge that involves eating purportedly the spiciest tortilla chip in the world and then waiting as long as possible before eating or drinking something for relief afterwards.
The chip, which is made by Paqui, comes in a coffin container and it has a warning that states it should be kept away from children and that it’s only for adults to eat – as well as people who have an allergen or are sensitive to spicy food.
On the brand’s web page, it says anyone who has difficulty breathing or extended nausea is to urgently seek medical advice.
The challenge has been around for several years and last year, some school principals sent students home following a warning over the chips.
Last year, a representative for Paqui told the Today show that the company take ‘safety very seriously and has worked hard to ensure our products are properly and clearly labelled with allergen and safety information’.
It was added: “It is our intent that consumers take on this challenge with a full understanding of what it is and if it is appropriate for them.”
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Wolobah’s school is now offering grief counselling and emotional support for shocked students and staff.
Doherty Memorial High School’s principal, Rachel Monárrez, called the late student a ‘rising star’.
Her statement added: “It is with a heavy heart I share that we lost a rising star, Harris Wolobah, who was a sophomore scholar at Doherty Memorial High School. As a mother and educator, I cannot imagine how hard this is on his family, friends and teachers.
“My heart goes out to all who knew and loved him.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the cost of funeral expenses and it has already raised $23,000.
Wolobah will be remembered as a student who loved his family and basketball.