Pancake Eating Contest Turns Deadly After Female Student Chokes And Dies Days Later

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald April 05, 04:00 am

A student from New Jersey died at a hospital days after she joined a pancake-eating contest in Connecticut. Authorities confirmed she choked during the contest.

Reports identified the 20-year-old college student from Sacred Heart University as Caitlin Nelson of Clark, New Jersey. Nelson was a certified youth mental health counselor and was at a charity event in Connecticut when she joined the pancake-eating contest called "flapjack." Authorities identified the charity event as Greek Life charity dinner.

Nelson, who was on her third year at the university, ate around five pancakes. She then fell to the floor and had convulsions. Two nurses were in the area during the incident and administered life-saving efforts on the student. Authorities came two minutes after people called them about the incident, New York Daily News reported.

Paramedics took Nelson at a hospital in Bridgeport. They listed her under critical but stable condition then transferred her to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia on Friday. They pronounced her dead on Sunday. They took the vital organs of the student to help other people.

A rotating officer assigned at the campus, 42-year-old Robert Kalamaras, said Nelson had food allergies but did not give other details about it. Other authorities, however, said the food allergies did not contribute to her death.

Students at the Sacred Heart University and faculty members held a vigil for her. University president John J. Petillo said in a blog post the death of Nelson hurt them all and her death was a tremendous loss to the community, USA Today shared.

A person close to Nelson and her family said, "She was a sweet, sweet, sweet kid. Full of life. Vibrant. It's horrible." The source added Nelson's death due to a charity event was sad because her father died during the 9/11 attack.

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