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Elijah Silvera

Toddler dies after school feeds him grilled cheese, family says

A 3-year-old boy with a dairy allergy died earlier this month after his preschool served him a grilled cheese sandwich, his family said.

The New York Times reports that Elijah Silvera died November 3 after the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services in Harlem, New York, gave the toddler a grilled cheese sandwich. A GoFundMe set up for the Silvera’s family claims that the facility, which is overseen by the Administration for Children’s Services and the Health Department, had documentation detailing his food allergy.

“Elijah went into anaphylactic shock and was taken to the Pediatric ER at Harlem Hospital, where, tragically, they were unable to save him,” said the statement on the crowdfunding campaign page.

The family said that part of proceeds from the GoFundMe will be used for an independent autopsy. The fundraiser has amassed more than $56,000 as of Monday evening. Though the family has hired a lawyer, the New York Daily News reports that there are no talks of a lawsuit at this time.

“At this moment, it is unclear where responsibility for Elijah’s death will fall between the pre-K and the hospital itself,” the page read.

According to the New York Times, the Health Department announced it had closed the school on November 8 for unsatisfactory supervision of a child and for not following their own written safety protocol.

“We will get to the bottom of what happened here. In the meantime, we’re closing the Center for Family Services and continuing to aggressively investigate what happened and whether the facility could have done something differently to prevent this tragedy,” Health Department spokesman Christopher Miller told the newspaper.

Miller declined to reveal whether there was an EpiPen on the premises that could have saved Silvera, citing an ongoing investigation.

In light of their son’s death, the toddler’s heartbroken parents, Dina and Thomas Silvera, said they’re now committed to spreading awareness about childhood food allergies.

“While we can no longer protect Elijah, hold him in our arms or kiss his sweet little face, we can still fight for kids like him,” they said in a statement acquired by the Daily News.

“And that’s exactly what we intend to do.”

[Featured Image: GoFundMe]