Mystery Allergic Reaction Kills Girl, 11, on Vacation

After fewer than 15 minutes in pool, Paige Warner complained of stinging nose
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2014 8:23 AM CST
Mystery Allergic Reaction Kills Girl, 11, on Vacation
The Honolulu skyline is seen. Paige Warner had just arrived in Hawaii Kai on vacation.   (AP Photo/Marco Garcia, file)

On Thanksgiving Day, Paige Warner and her family flew to Honolulu for the 11-year-old's first trip to Hawaii. She "was so excited," recounts mom Karin Carpenter, who explains that after a holiday dinner of white rice and soy sauce—Paige had "extensive" food allergies—her daughter got into the pool with her sister. Fewer than 15 minutes later, she was out of the pool, complaining of a stinging nose. Her condition quickly snowballed into something much more serious, involving difficulty breathing, and she was taken to the ER. On Dec. 4, after a week in a coma, the girl from Roseville, Calif., was taken off life support; it's still unclear what triggered the reaction, reports KTLA.

As Carpenter writes on a GoFundMe page, she speculates about possible contributing factors: the plane, entering an environment full of allergens that were new to her, the area's large feral cat population, pesticide runoff in the pool from an adjacent golf course, or a bronchial spasm caused by the pool's temperature. The family is "devastated," but sister Violet is bringing healing, insisting that the family hang its Christmas decorations because Paige "loves Christmas." The GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $30,000 to date. The most heart-tugging line on the page, from Carpenter's description of the events immediately after Paige got out of the pool: "She looked into my eyes and screamed, and said, 'Mom, I'm dying. I know I am because I can see it in your eyes.'" (A teen's allergic reaction recently caused her to "burn from the inside out.")

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