Local authorities say an 11-year-old boy from New Jersey may have died from an allergic reaction caused by the smell of fish that was cooking nearby.

Cameron Jean-Pierre became suddenly ill on New Year's Day while visiting his grandmother's house in Canarsie, Brooklyn, The Washington Post reports. At the time Cameron’s mother, Jody Pottingr, said the child’s grandmother was preparing salt fish.

Pottingr told a local ABC affiliate family members noticed the middle schooler was having trouble breathing shortly after he arrived. He had asthma, and family members made sure a nebulizer was always close at hand.

“When he inhaled the fish, I guess that triggered off an asthma attack, and he couldn't breathe. His lungs tightened up, and his dad attempted to give him the nebulizer machine,” she said.

"I gave him the nebulizer, the machine, that he usually takes if something like this happens, so it was a normal situation,” Cameron’s father, Steven Jean-Pierre said. “But for some reason, he said it wasn't giving him enough air at the time."

Steven called 911 and performed CPR while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. He said he managed to stay calm until his son said, “I love you, Daddy. I love you. I feel like I’m dying.”

"He gave me two kisses, two kisses on my face," the father said. "He said, 'I feel like I'm dying.' I said, 'Don't say that. What are you talking about. Don't say that.’”

When help arrived, Cameron was unresponsive and couldn't be revived. 

While the medical examiner as of yet has not determined the exact cause of death, the family believes it was a reaction from a severe food allergy. Pottingr said her son has always been allergic to fish.

"I'm just devastated by the situation right now, it just happened so sudden," Steven said. "I'm just lost right now."


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