Friends and family are paying tribute to a teenager who died during a “thunderstorm asthma” emergency in Melbourne, and was just days away from graduating high school.
More than 2,000 people suffered breathing problems on Monday after a severe storm combined with an extreme pollen count caused a mass incident of what is being described as “thunderstorm asthma”.
Hospitals were swamped with emergency patients, while firefighters and police were called on to help paramedics respond to thousands of calls after the conditions caused breathing problems for Victorians.
At least two people died after experiencing respiratory issues.
One of the victims, Omar Moujalled, 18, was a student at the Australian International Academy at Coburg North, in Melbourne’s inner north.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we inform you of the death of Omar Moujalled, one of our Year 12 students. Sadly, he passed away last night from a medical condition,” a statement on the school’s Facebook page read.
Friends and family donated to a crowdfunding campaign to build a well in his honour.
“On the 21st of November 2016, a friend, brother, son and classmate was lost to a tragic asthma attack at the age of 18,” wrote Sarah Baarini, who set up the campaign.
“Omar-Jamil Moujalled was merely two days away from graduating year 12.”
The second victim has not yet been identified.
A number of reviews were launched into Monday night’s emergency, including by the State Government.
Victoria’s Health Minister Jill Hennessy said she was only aware of two deaths, but the review would determine if there were other victims.
She said the Government will also examine the overall response to the event to ensure the state can cope with similar incidents in the future.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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