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September 2023

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Tragic Death of 14-Year-Old US Boy Linked to Viral TikTok One Chip Challenge

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A 14-year-old boy, Harris Wolobah from Massachusetts, lost his life tragically after participating in a viral TikTok trend known as the “One Chip Challenge.” This challenge encourages participants to consume what is claimed to be one of the world’s spiciest tortilla chips and document how long they can endure the intense heat without consuming any relief, all while filming the experience.

The young teen’s mother recounted that her son ingested an exceptionally spicy Paqui chip at school, which swiftly led to a stomach ache. Concerned about his condition, his family retrieved him from Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester and brought him home. He initially felt better but suddenly lost consciousness just as he was preparing to head out for basketball tryouts.

Harris was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was tragically pronounced dead. The exact cause of his death remains unconfirmed, pending autopsy results. His mother suspects that complications arising from the spicy snack may have played a role.

The chip company, Paqui, has issued a warning on its website, cautioning that consuming the chip can have various adverse medical effects. It explicitly states that the chip should only be consumed by adults and advises seeking medical help in case of breathing difficulties, fainting, or prolonged nausea.

Harris’s school paid tribute to the young basketball enthusiast, with Worcester Public Schools superintendent Rachel Monarrez expressing her condolences. She stated, “It is with a heavy heart I share that we lost a rising star, Harris Wolobah. As a mother and educator, I cannot imagine how hard this is on his family, friends, and teachers. My heart goes out to all who knew and loved him.”

In response to this tragedy, Harris’s family initiated a fundraiser to cover funeral expenses, with  $23,560 raised in support so far. ( Sources: NBC10 Boston, Sky News, New York Post)

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