Elijah Silvera death is tragic.
But what makes it so tragic is that it was completely avoidable.
The three-year-old boy had a severe allergy to dairy. He died after he was fed a grilled cheese sandwich at his preschool.
Elijah Silvera went into anaphylactic shock at Seventh Avenue Center for Family Services in Harlem on November 3.
But sadly he succumbed to his death at a nearby hospital.
The pre-school, which caters to around 40 children, was shut down on Wednesday as the Department of Health investigates the incident.
Elijah had just become a student at the school.
His family members specifically told staff that Elijah had a severe allergy to dairy.
On Elijah’s GoFundMe page his family go into detail about the moments leading up to the toddler’s death.
‘He was given a grilled cheese sandwich by an adult at the pre-k, despite them knowing and having documented that he has a severe allergy to dairy,’ the GoFundMe page said.
It added: ‘Elijah went into anaphylactic shock and was taken to the Pediatric ER at Harlem Hospital, where, tragically, they were unable to save him.’
The GoFundMe was set up to help raise funds for the Elijah’s funeral costs, as well as financial support for the family.
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said it is ‘aggressively’ investigating the incident.
It said it is ‘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’.
The school is also conducting its own investigation.
A family member on the GoFundMe page said that Elijah’s death was ‘completely preventable.’
They added: ‘We can and must do more to protect our children from life threatening allergic reactions in the US schools’.
The family said: ‘It is an unimaginable time for everyone who loved Elijah, in particular for his 5-year-old brother Sebastian, who struggles to understand that his brother is truly gone.’
‘We dread the upcoming holiday season without our little boy. We are lost. For everyone who has already reached out to us with a text, a phone call, or a hot plate of food, it is your expressed care that keeps us going.’
‘Even if we are too overwhelmed to respond directly right now, we read every message and we want you to know that it means the world.’