Student, 18, died after allergic reaction to grilled chicken

A student died from a suspected allergic reaction to chicken he ate during a day out in London to celebrate his 18th birthday.

Owen Carey, from Crowborough in East Sussex, was with his girlfriend in front of the London Eye on Saturday afternoon when he suddenly collapsed.

He had apparently suffered anaphylactic shock from what he had believed to be plain grilled chicken.

A pupil at The Skinner’s School in Tunbridge Wells, Owen was given first aid by London Eye staff and passers-by before being rushed to nearby St Thomas’s Hospital.

He was pronounced dead 45 minutes later at 4pm.

His father Paul Carey paid tribute to the popular student, who enjoyed playing the guitar, skiing and rock-climbing and had been offered a place to read computer science at Swansea University.

"Owen was so full of life and fun. He is going to be sorely missed by so many people.

"The whole family are completely overwhelmed."

Paul Carey and Owen Carey Credit: SWNS

He suffered from food allergies to peanuts, some spices and wheat.

Paul Carey said: "He was very careful about what he ate. He had been well trained by his mother and by myself on restricting his diet."

he added: "He ate chicken in a restaurant - I'm not sure which one. He didn't like the taste of it so stopped eating it.

"The reaction built up over the next few hours."

According to the Evening Standard, the teenager usually carried an EpiPen as a precaution but had forgotten it on the trip and had never suffered a severe reaction before.

This time last week I was saying goodbye to my younger son, Owen, as he went off from Plymouth on the coach back home to Sussex. Today, a week later, I have to start preparing myself to say goodbye to him for ever.

Paul Carey

His father said the pair had spent Easter weekend together at his new home in Cornwall.

"I felt so full of life then, but just now, I really, really do feel so empty, and it is going to be a struggle in these next few days, weeks and months, to come to terms with what has happened."

"Please think about why he died; a stupid bit of "plain grilled" chicken cooked the wrong way?" he wrote in a Facebook post.

"It has robbed me of my son, and I will never, ever, be able to replace him. He has gone forever."

He said he wanted to share the news of his son’s death to raise awareness of charities such as anaphylaxis.org.uk that supports people with allergies.