A heartbroken New York family is mourning a 3-year-old boy whose death they say was completely preventable. Elijah Silvera was given a grilled cheese sandwich at a Harlem daycare on Nov. 3 “despite them knowing and having documented that he has a severe allergy to dairy,” family members write on a GoFundMe page. He went into anaphylactic shock and doctors were unable to save him.
The New York Times reports that a cousin says that instead of calling an ambulance, the school called the boy’s mother, who took him to the hospital. The FDNY has confirmed that no ambulances were called to the Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services that day.
Christopher Miller, a spokesman for the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said the facility has been closed and they are continuing to “aggressively investigate what happened and whether the facility could have done something differently to prevent this tragedy,” ABC reports. He says there was a safety plan in place, as required by law, but did not comment on whether the daycare had an EpiPen that could have treated Elijah.
On the GoFundMe page, relatives say the family is “only beginning the long and painful process of adjusting to a world that does not include Elijah in it.” They say they are raising funds for expenses including a second autopsy to determine whether the school or the hospital failed to follow protocols.