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Tragedy as bride-to-be, 24, dies in South Africa from diary allergy four days after proposal

A young woman has died just four days after getting engaged on a romantic holiday in South Africa after using the wrong spoon to stir her tea.

Jess Prinsloo, 24, was reported to have died as a result of her acute dairy allergy just days after her partner Craig McKinnon, also 24, was proposed on Dec. 27 at the God’s Window lookout in Mpumalanga.

After saying yes, marketing manager Jess from Salisbury, Wiltshire, celebrated with her fiancé for several days before traveling to her mother’s home in Johannesburg on Dec. 30.

But after coming into contact with dairy, she went into anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction in which the throat closes up, and died in hospital the following day, the Mirror reports.

Jess Prinsloo, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, died just four days after her boyfriend James McKinnon proposed to her while on a dream vacation to South Africa

Mrs Prinsloo, 24, was pictured crying with joy after proposing on December 27, 2022

Mrs Prinsloo, 24, was pictured crying with joy after proposing on December 27, 2022

Mrs Prinsloo, 24, was pictured crying with joy after proposing on December 27, 2022

Her friends and family have paid tribute to a “beautiful, cheerful” young woman who “lit up every room she entered.”

In a heartbreaking social media post, Mr. McKinnon wrote: It’s hard to find clarity in today, the worst day of my life.

“But one point I’ve never been clear on, the 3+ years I got with my Jess are irreplaceable, and I wouldn’t trade them with anyone else on Earth for 60 years.

“I’m devastated and feel pain like I’ve never felt before, but anyone who’s spent time in her company knows what I mean when I say I’m blessed to call her my fiancee.” [for] the best three days of my life.’

The couple met in college in 2019 and they moved in together in 2021.

Mrs. Prinsloo had many relatives in South Africa, but hadn’t been back in six years, said Mr. McKinnon, so he knew there was no better place to propose.

He told the Mirror: ‘The look on her face… it meant everything.’

She was so excited about the proposal that she notified her followers on her social media accounts that same day, only to be inundated with messages from friends and family.

The next post on her Facebook page was to share the devastating news that she was in hospital in a ‘critical condition’.

Despite her concern to always carry two EpiPens after several “near misses,” both Mrs. Prinsloo failed during her response.

Mr. McKinnon said, “When Jess died, a part of me died too – but no one is responsible for her passing.”

He described being woken up by her brother, Darren, and said she had a particularly bad reaction after the EpiPen “didn’t have the effect it usually has.”

She was rushed to hospital, but despite the doctors’ best efforts, they were unable to save her.

Ms Prinsloo had been allergic since she was just nine months old and even had to be resuscitated after coming into contact with dairy in a curry at the age of 18.

The couple spent four happy days celebrating their engagement before disaster struck

The couple spent four happy days celebrating their engagement before disaster struck

The couple spent four happy days celebrating their engagement before disaster struck

Mr. McKinnon proposed marriage at a famous beauty spot called God's Window, in the country his fiancée hadn't visited in six years

Mr. McKinnon proposed marriage at a famous beauty spot called God's Window, in the country his fiancée hadn't visited in six years

Mr. McKinnon proposed marriage at a famous beauty spot called God’s Window, in the country his fiancée hadn’t visited in six years

The couple met in 2019 at university, and moved in together after the lockdown in 2021

The couple met in 2019 at university, and moved in together after the lockdown in 2021

The couple met in 2019 at university, and moved in together after the lockdown in 2021

Mr McKinnon told the Mirror: ‘Another time she ordered a vegan dessert which should not have contained dairy and required antihistamines, an EpiPen and a hospital trip. I haven’t eaten dairy in about three years because it just wasn’t worth the risk.’

After her death, he was charged £3,700 in medical bills and a further £1,200 in coroner’s costs.

Mr. McKinnon and Ms. Prinsloo’s family have set up a GoFundMe to cover medical and funeral expenses.

A statement on the page read: “Our beautiful, happy Jess recently passed away on 12/31/2022.

Jess was an impeccable daughter, sister, niece, friend and most recently fiancé. She lit up every room she entered and touched the lives of everyone she met.

If you’ve ever met Jess, you probably know her fun fact about herself: She’s allergic to milk.

‘During her holiday in South Africa she had an allergic reaction. While in the hospital Jess did her best to get through it, she passed away peacefully late that night.

“All the years we’ve had Jess will get us through the years we don’t have.”

Mr McKinnon returned to the UK with her ashes on Monday.

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