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Tunbridge Wells grammar school pupil dies after allergic reaction to chicken

A teenage grammar school pupil has died after suffering an allergic reaction to grilled piece of chicken.

Owen Carey, a student at the Skinners School in Tunbridge Wells, collapsed in London on Saturday in front of his girlfriend as they celebrated his 18 birthday.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate Owen, from Crowborough, East Sussex, in front of the London Eye and for a further 45 minutes at hospital, but attempts to save him were unsuccessful.

Paul Carey with son Owen who sadly died on Saturday
Paul Carey with son Owen who sadly died on Saturday

His father Paul Carey posted an emotional tribute to his son in the wake of his death on Facebook and urged friends to share his post to raise awareness of anaphylaxis.

He wrote: “This time last week I was saying goodbye to my younger son, Owen, as he went off from Plymouth on the coach back home to Sussex.

“Today, a week later, I have to start preparing myself to say goodbye to him forever. On Saturday just gone, shortly before 4 o'clock in the afternoon, Owen died, in front of the big wheel that is the London Eye, of an anaphylactic reaction to something he had eaten at lunchtime.

“He died with his girlfriend Martha beside him. Paramedics and others tried to help, but it was all in vain.”

Mr Carey also revealed members of the public in the capital tried to help as much as they could before he was taken to St Thomas’s Hospital.

“Please share this message so that as many people as possible who might have known Owen understand the tragic end to his life. Please think about why he died; a stupid bit of ‘plain grilled’ chicken cooked the wrong way?

“Have a look at the websites of any one of the charities supporting people with allergies and anaphylactic reactions, notably, anaphylaxis.org.uk.

“I am going to help them to raise awareness of this awful problem that really, truly can rob people of their lives. It has robbed me of my son, and I will never, ever, be able to replace him. He has gone forever.”

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