Family believes teen died from complications of eating extremely spicy chip

A teenager died Friday after he ate a spicy tortilla chip in what his family said was a TikTok challenge gone wrong, according to The Guardian.

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While Harris Wolobah’s cause of death was not given, his family said they believe the boy died from a reaction to eating an extremely spicy tortilla chip made by the Pacqui company.

The company promotes a “one chip challenge” and invites consumers to publish videos of themselves eating the very spicy chip that is derived from two of the world’s hottest peppers. The videos are often posted on TikTok.

On the company’s home page, Paqui posts a warning saying you should “Seek medical assistance should you experience difficulty breathing, fainting or extended nausea.”

According to a GoFundMe campaign meant to help his family, Wolobah’s relatives said they fear that Harris, 14, died because of the challenge.

“On September 1, my aunt Lois’ youngest son, Harris, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 14 from what we suspect to be complications due to the ‘one chip challenge’ (autopsy pending),” the GoFundMe post read.

“The pain our family is experiencing is unimaginable. Harris was a light that lit up the room with his presence and subtle charm. He was an intelligent, quirky and incredibly talented young man who loved video games and playing basketball!”

Harris’s mother, Lois Wolobah, told WBTS-TV that her son was given a Pacqui chip by a fellow student at Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester, Massachusetts.

He had an intense stomachache, his mother said, and he went to the school nurse, who called her to pick him up.

She said her son felt better when he got home, but then lost consciousness as he prepared to go try out for a basketball team, Wolobah said. He died a short time later.

If the chip made Wolobah sick, it would not be the first time someone fell ill while accepting the tasting challenge.

A student at Dunwoody High School in Georgia became sick last November after eating a chip, Dunwoody police said in a Facebook post.

So did several people in California, KNTV reported.

In its warning, Dunwoody police said that according to medical professionals, “the challenge can cause serious side effects including severe coughing, asthma, serious burning of the eyes and mouth and vomiting” as well as “more serious health problems, esophageal damage, chest pain, heart palpitations and even heart attacks.”

Autopsy results are pending in Harris’s case.

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