“One Chip Challenge” led to Massachusetts teen’s death

In recent years, social media challenges have become a popular form of entertainment, with participants often going to great lengths to outdo each other. Unfortunately, these challenges can sometimes have tragic consequences. One such incident involved a 14-year-old Massachusetts boy named Harris Wolobah, who died after participating in the infamous ‘One Chip Challenge’.

Harris Wolobah’s mother confirmed that the family believes the teenager died of complications from the One Chip Challenge.
Harris Wolobah’s mother confirmed that the teenager died of complications from the One Chip Challenge. Images Credit Gofundme.com

The One Chip Challenge

The ‘One Chip Challenge’ is a viral social media dare that involves consuming a tortilla chip seasoned with two of the world’s hottest peppers – the Carolina Reaper and the Naga Viper. Manufactured by Paqui, the chip is sold individually, wrapped in foil, and comes in a coffin-shaped box.

Despite the warning on the packaging that the chip is for adult consumption only and should be kept out of the reach of children, many kids have still managed to get their hands on it.

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The Incident

Harris Wolobah, a previously healthy 10th grader from Worcester, Massachusetts, tragically passed away on September 1, 2023, just hours after eating the chip. Police found him unresponsive at his home, and he was rushed to the hospital, where he later died.

The Cause of Death

According to the autopsy report, Harris died of cardiopulmonary arrest “in the setting of recent ingestion of food substance with high capsaicin concentration.” Capsaicin is the compound in peppers that gives them their heat. The report also noted that Harris had an enlarged heart and a congenital anomaly called “myocardial bridging,” where one or more arteries delivering blood to the heart go through the heart’s muscle instead of lying on its surface.

The Aftermath

Following Harris’ death, Paqui, the manufacturer of the chip, requested retailers to stop selling the product. Despite this, there have been reports from around the country of teens getting sick after taking part in the challenge.

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