Who was Oriana Pepper? Trainee pilot died days after mosquito bite in RARE CASE
A 21-year-old trainee pilot died in hospital days after being bitten by a mosquito, an inquest has revealed. Oriana Pepper, from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was training in Belgium last year in July when she got bitten by the insect above her right eyebrow. According to the inquest, her eyebrow started swelling and she was taken to the hospital for some antibiotics on July 7.
She was brought to her boyfriend's home a couple of days later after she lost consciousness. Three days later, on July 12, she died in the hospital. Oriana died of a severe infection caused by the insect bite, confirmed Nigel Parsley, Suffolk's senior coroner. According to an autopsy performed on her, it was found that she died of "septic emboli" due to the infection spreading.
Parsley commented that he had never seen a case like this before while addressing the trainee pilot's parents, Tristan and Louisa. "It's just one of those things that's just such an unfortunate tragedy for a young lady who clearly had a wonderful career and life ahead of her," he said.
At the inquest, it was revealed that Oriana used to enjoy flying with her father and brother, Oliver, who is also a trainee commercial pilot. Oriana used to describe flying as having an office between the clouds. According to her family, Pepper had found love, was pursuing her desire to become a pilot and was living out her aspirations.
Oriana's boyfriend, James Hill, met her at a flight school in Phoenix, Arizona. He mentioned that they had been bitten numerous times by mosquitoes on reaching Antwerp on May 20, but none affected them in any way. He said, "We were assured by locals that it was normal for the area and time of year."
According to James, Oriana had a bad swelling on her eyebrow from that bite that left a red mark. She also mentioned that her back had been aching quite a lot. When Oriana was brought to A&E, her swelling had gotten worse. She was diagnosed with an infection due to the mosquito bite and was given a few antibiotics. Two days later, she blacked out. According to James, she "was delirious and had difficulty talking".
Her parents were by her bedside when she died. In honor of their late daughter, the family has established a little scholarship. According to her mother, Louisa, it was to uplift future female pilots and encourage them to join the profession. She said, "That's a positive thing in her life."