A Massachusetts teen has passed away after attempting a viral social media challenge.
Harris Wolobah’s family has been left reeling after the 14-year-old passed away last week — and they believe an extremely spicy chip is to blame.
If you haven’t heard of the One Chip Challenge, it’s all about the heat. The chips, made by Paqui, are “flavored” with the hottest peppers known to man, like the Carolina Reaper, the Naga Viper, and the Scorpion. A single black chip comes in a coffin-shaped package — and warns consumers to keep away from children and those with food sensitivities due to its extreme heat.
The point of the challenge is to eat it and then to see how long you can go without drinking water, which is why it’s become such a popular challenge online. For anyone trying it, the challenge is painful as all hell. However, for Harris, it was far worse than one bad night…
The Worcester teen’s mother Lois Wolobah told NBC10 Boston on Sunday that she was called to her son’s school on Friday by a nurse after Harris had explained that a classmate had given him the chip, which left him with bad abdominal pain. According to her, he began to feel better when he got home, but by 4:30 p.m. when he was ready to head out for basketball tryouts, his brother called for help because he’d passed out.
Harris was promptly taken to a nearby hospital, where the loving family’s worst nightmare came true: the teen was pronounced dead.
While official autopsy results are pending, Doherty Memorial High School’s superintendent Rachel Monárrez paid tribute to the late teen, calling him a “rising star” at the school. She said in a statement:
“It is with a heavy heart I share that we lost a rising star, Harris Wolobah, who was a sophomore scholar at Doherty Memorial High School. 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.”
Lois isn’t happy with the school — she says her son should have been sent to the hospital, rather than home.
Worcester police are currently investigating. Whether the chip could have caused the young man’s death, we don’t know. But the Paqui site does refer to medical emergencies, warning consumers to seek medical attention if they experience “difficulty breathing, fainting or extended nausea.” It also ominously warns:
“After touching the chip, wash your hands with soap and do not touch eyes or other sensitive areas.”
See more (below):
What a truly heartbreaking situation. The Wolobah family is raising money for “funeral expenses” in a GoFundMe, which you can visit HERE.
Rest in peace, Harris.