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Family grieving after girl, 12, dies from allergic reaction

A family is mourning and a community is in shock after a 12-year-old girl collapsed at a Burlington mall this week and died from what doctors say was a severe allergic reaction.

Maia Santarelli-Gallo was having ice cream with her father and older sister at Mapleview Centre on Thursday afternoon when she went into anaphylactic shock.

“We were eating ice cream. We go walk around. She tells me she doesn’t feel good,” her older sister Zoe said. “We went to the bathroom and the next thing I know is she needs her inhaler and there’s someone in the mall giving her CPR.”

Maia was given an EpiPen and was rushed by paramedics to Joseph Brant Hospital without vital signs and was later pronounced dead.

It’s still unclear what the Grade 7 student was allergic to. She wasn’t allergic to peanuts and other nuts like her sister Zoe, but she was allergic to various foods.

A visitation will be held for Maia on Sunday with a funeral service planned for Monday in Stoney Creek.