Student sorority left reeling after sister's shocking death

By Nici De Wet
05 April 2017

What should have been a fun student competition left Caitlin (20) dead.

In a terrible turn of events, a 20-year-old in the US died after complications following a pancake eating contest.

Caitlin Nelson, a student at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, was competing in a Greek Life food-eating competition on March 30 when she began shaking uncontrollably and fell to the floor.

She had reportedly eating four or five pancakes when she collapsed and by the time police officers arrived at the scene she was “unresponsive and not breathing." She died later in hospital.

According to medical staff, Nelson had allergies, but at the time they were not able to confirm that they were a “contributing factor to the incident,” according to police.

According to her Facebook page, the pretty brunette was vice president of her sorority’s community service and was a volunteer for Greek Life Gives, donating leftover food from campus to local shelters. She was also active in supporting trauma victims from the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.

Caitlin, whose vital organs were donated, was just five when her dad, James Nelson, a hero cop, was killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center while helping to evacuate people from the Twin Towers.

Thousands of students and staff attended a service held by the university. “The service was followed by an impromptu candlelight vigil as community members consoled one another and offered prayers for Caitlin and her family and friends,” university spokesperson Deborah Noack said in a statement. “The SHU flag has been lowered to half-staff in Caitlin’s memory.”

Paul Nunziato, president of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association, said, “My heart is broken for Caitlin’s family. “Like her dad, who gave all he possibly could in the final moments of his life so others may live, Caitlin also gave all she could so others live.”

She was in school on a scholarship set aside for children of parents killed on 9/11.

Sources: People, NY Daily News

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