HARLEM, NEW YORK — A family is mourning after their 3-year-old, Elijah Silvera, died due to an extreme allergic reaction while in child care. The pre-school has been shut down until further notice.
According to New York Post, the young boy was served a grilled cheese sandwich by one of the pre-K workers at Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services, located on Lenox Avenue.
— SnackSafely.com (@SnackSafely) November 9, 2017
The source says he was severely allergic to dairy. Reportedly, during the incident, staff members didn’t immediately call emergency services. Instead, they called the 3-year-old’s mother, Dina.
Elijah’s cousin, 30-year-old Liz Murray, says that — once his mom arrived to the school — she rushed him to Harlem Hospital. Murray says she has no idea why they simply didn’t call 911.
As a result, Elijah died at the hospital after going into anaphylactic shock, according to New York Post.
3-year-old Elijah Silvera suffered a severe allergic reaction and died after he was given a grilled cheese sandwich at school even though his family said educators knew he had a dairy allergy. More: https://t.co/wWS2jxs6jK pic.twitter.com/dusBdoWRJh
— 1010 WINS (@1010WINS) November 9, 2017
And as you’d guess, the person who served the child a grilled cheese sandwich hasn’t been identified. The source says the family told staff members multiple times about Elijah’s allergy towards dairy.
Murray says her deceased cousin had “well-documented allergies.” They weren’t just something to take lightly.
“The school had it on file; it was very well explained,” she notes. The source quotes Murray as follows.
“The family, they are really trying to get a message out. They are angry because [Elijah’s death] was so preventable. Right now they are shattered and heartbroken and in disbelief.”
RIP Elijah Silvera. Food allergies are a constant source of stress and concern for parents and it is terrifying to imagine this happening to your own. This is a betrayal of the trust of anyone sending his or her child off to be cared for by anyone else. https://t.co/jZicfGKskJ
— Eat It, Miami (@EatItMiami) November 9, 2017
And as it should, the incident has alerted other parents regarding their children’s further attendance at the facility. Some of them even mentioned taking their kids to a pediatrician as a precaution.
Ebenezer Sarpong, 37 — who was picking up his 3-year-old daughter — says he doesn’t feel safe now.
However, some parents state that the daycare has always kept strict food guidelines regarding their kids. For instance, 32-year-old Javier Pacheco mentions as follows.
“If anything, they’re overly cautious when it comes to food. My 3-year-old is allergic to peanuts and they always keep us posted. We haven’t had any issues. It was probably that one employee who messed up.”
Until recent, the agency had maintained a clean record with no serious complaints in the past.
— WebMD (@WebMD) November 10, 2017
Yet, regardless of who did it, the facility is closed until further notice as officials conduct an investigation into the matter.
So far, Elijah’s family has raised more than $46,000 since starting a GoFundMe page for funeral costs.
However, according to the page, what they really want is justice. Elijah’s death isn’t just affecting his parents, according to his father, Thomas. Via the GoFundMe page, he mentions as follows.
“Elijah’s brother Sebastian asked us how we could go see his baby brother in Heaven, ‘Can we ride a rocket ship to reach to him?’ he asked, and our hearts broke all over again. The reality hits us, subsides, and then hits us again, and our hearts break each time.”
Let us know your thoughts. Our prayers and concerns are with the family during this time. If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
[Featured Photo via @njburkett7 / Twitter]