Household believes Worcester teen died from ‘problems’ after collaborating in viral ‘One Chip Problem’

Meals Information

The reason for 14-year-old Harris Wolobah’s dying has not but been confirmed, however he reportedly ate the spicy Paqui Chips’ product at college earlier than going dwelling sick the day he died.

The household of 14-year-old Worcester pupil Harris Wolobah believes he died from the viral “One Chip Problem.” GoFundMe

The household of a 14-year-old Worcester boy who died Friday believes he died from well being “problems” after he participated within the viral “One Chip Problem,” which entails consuming a super-spicy tortilla chip.

In a GoFundMe to profit the household of Harris Wolobah, his cousin wrote that Wolobah “handed away unexpectedly on the age of 14 from what we suspect to be problems as a result of ‘one chip problem’ (post-mortem pending).”

“The ache our household is experiencing is unimaginable,” the cousin wrote.

The One Chip Problem dares individuals to eat a Paqui Chips product made with super-hot peppers and see how lengthy they’ll final with out consuming or consuming something afterward. They’re inspired to movie their expertise and publish the video to social media.

The Hershey Firm, whose subsidiary owns Paqui Chips, didn’t reply to a request for remark Monday night.

Harris Wolobah’s dying

On Friday, Worcester police, paramedics, and firefighters responded to “a Rustic Drive deal with for a medical name involving a fourteen-year-old boy” round 4:30 p.m., Worcester police mentioned in a press release when requested about Harris’ dying. They discovered the boy unresponsive and never respiratory.

First responders took the boy to a hospital the place he was pronounced useless, police mentioned. The Chief Medical Examiner has accepted the case and can decide the way and reason behind dying.

Police mentioned they might not verify the sufferer’s identification because of privateness points.

Worcester faculty officers confirmed to The Boston Globe that whereas attending faculty on Friday, Harris started feeling in poor health and went to the nurse’s workplace. He was then reportedly launched early so he may go dwelling along with his dad and mom.

Harris’ mom, Lois Wolobah, instructed NBC10 Boston {that a} classmate gave him the chip at college, and that he suffered a foul abdomen ache in consequence. He felt higher when he acquired dwelling, she reportedly mentioned, however as they have been about to go away for basketball tryouts, his brother found that he’d fainted.

The One Chip Problem

The social media problem — that includes a chip made with “two of the most popular peppers at present out there” — launched in 2016 as a promotion by Paqui Chips. It turned common on TikTok in the previous couple of years, with movies with its hashtag garnering over two billion views.

A person holding up a One Chip Problem Paqui Chips container in 2017.

The problem had a resurgence in reputation final fall, and colleges across the nation reported sending college students to the hospital after they participated in it. Some colleges banned the chips in response.

Regardless of the problem’s reputation with school-aged kids, the webpage concerning the problem warns that the chip is “meant for grownup consumption.” It is because the peppers used to make the chips include the chemical capsaicin, which makes scorching peppers spicy however will also be harmful.

The problem web site additionally warns in opposition to consuming the chip in case you are delicate to spicy meals; allergic to peppers, nightshades, or capsaicin; or have any medical situations. It advises searching for medical consideration if in case you have problem respiratory, really feel faint, or expertise prolonged nausea after consuming the chip.

One Chip Problem risks

The Nationwide Capital Poison Middle warns that individuals who take part within the problem typically expertise “mouth irritation, ache, or burning, together with intestinal discomfort.

“Capsaicin consumption may trigger extra severe well being issues, together with chest ache, coronary heart palpitations, and even coronary heart assaults,” the poison heart’s web site reads. “Consumption of bigger quantities of capsaicin may trigger repeated vomiting that may result in life-threatening esophageal injury.”

Whereas the problem solely asks contributors to eat one chip, every chip comprises a big quantity of capsaicin, the warmth from which is measured in Scoville Warmth Models, or SHUs. As much as 2,000 SHUs is taken into account gentle, whereas the most popular stage is over 1.5 million SHUs.

Whereas the chip itself has not obtained a Scoville score, Paqui Chips wrote on its web site, the corporate makes use of Carolina Reaper peppers, that are round 1.7 million SHUs, and Naga Viper peppers, that are round 1.4 million SHUs, to make the chip.

Capsaicin content material is measured in Scoville Warmth Models (SHUs). – scovillescale.org

Remembering Harris Wolobah

In line with Worcester Public Colleges, Harris was a sophomore at Doherty Memorial Excessive College in Worcester.

“Harris was a lightweight that lit up the room along with his presence and delicate appeal. He was an clever, quirky and extremely gifted younger man who liked video video games and enjoying basketball!” his cousin wrote on his funeral service GoFundMe web page.

Douglas Hill, Harris’s basketball coach, instructed WCVB that the scholar was “so coachable.

“I may inform him no matter and he was going to take it and apply it to no matter he wanted to use it to,” Hill mentioned.

Superintendent Rachel Monárrez referred to as Harris “a rising star” in a press release Sunday.

“As a mom and educator, I can’t think about how onerous that is on his household, buddies and lecturers. My coronary heart goes out to all who knew and liked him,” she wrote.

The college is providing grief assist to college students within the wake of Harris’ dying, the superintendent mentioned.

Two years in the past, an Amherst teen died in the same incident that stemmed from a viral TikTok problem.


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