ROSEVILLE, Calif. (PIX11) — A family is reeling from the mysterious and sudden death of an 11-year-old girl who suffered a fatal allergic reaction while they were on vacation.
Paige Carpenter was in Hawaii with her family when she had an unknown allergic reaction that put her in a coma.
“Usually, I could get it under control and this time I just knew something was wrong,” mother Karin Carpenter said.
All her life, Paige had food allergies, but when her family arrived in Honolulu for Thanksgiving, those worries seemed to disappear.
“She was just lit up in excitement and she was so, so happy to be where we were,” Carpenter said.
One day, Paige went swimming with her younger sister and a friend.
About 10 minutes into the swim, the 11-year-old began complaining that her nose was burning and soon after her throat started to swell, Carpenter told PIX11 affiliate FOX40.
The little girl’s breathing became so labored that the family’s host called 911. Paige seemed to be fully aware of what was happening.
“She looked at me and said, ‘I’m dying. I know I’m going to die because I can see the look on your face,’” Carpenter said.
The little girl who loved to draw never made it home from Hawaii.
While her family grieves, Paige’s sister Violet is making sure that they live.
“Violet has been our ray of sunshine, keeping us eating and just taking care of ourselves,” Carpenter said.
Violet even insisted the Christmas decorations go up, because it’s what Paige would have wanted.
It’s unclear what caused Paige’s deadly reaction. She’s been told that anything from volcanic ash leftover from a recent Hawaiian eruption to the temperature of the pool could have played a role.
Paige’s family has created a GoFundMe account to pay for the child’s funeral expenses.