Sacred Heart Student Passes Away Tragically in a Medical Emergency

Sacred Heart University mourns the loss of junior, Caitlin Nelson, who died tragically on Sunday after a medical emergency at a Greek Life event that took place on the evening of March 30th. According to Connecticut Post, Nelson was participating in a pancake eating contest when she began to choke and was rushed to the hospital after several unsuccessful attempts to save her.

According to the Daily Voice, 21-year-old Nelson had eaten four to five pancakes during a contest held in Sacred Heart University’s Commons when she dropped to the ground. Students and Staff responded by attempting both CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver but were unsuccessful in fully dislodging the food from her throat. The New Jersey native was taken to St. Vincent’s Medical Center and was in critical condition, later to be transferred to Columbia Medical Center.

In an email sent by SHU President, John J. Petillo, to the University on Sunday announcing the death of Nelson he said that she “is now with her father, who was a victim of the 9/11 attacks”.

SHU held a candlelit vigil on Sunday, April 2 in honor of Caitlin who was part of the Kappa Delta sorority, a volunteer at the Resiliency Center of Newtown, and a member of America’s Camp which is an retreat for children who lost their parents during the 9/11 attacks.

The Her Campus and Fairfield University community send their love and prayers to Caitlin’s friends and loved ones, and everyone at Sacred Heart University. #WeAreSHU #WeStandWithSHU