A woman chocked to death after her reflux caused a piece of meat to lodge in her throat and block her airways while she was alone in her room and unable to call for help.
Gabrielly Rosa de Medeiros, 21, was found dead in her room on August, 31st in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Her aunt, Kátia Cristina Rosa Leite told G1 her niece had just returned home from a job interview.
She then had lunch with her family, before going to her room, where the incident happened.
The reflux caused her stomach to regurgitate the piece of meat, which then lodged in her airways, leaving her unable to breathe or speak.
Gabrielly’s relative found her a couple of hours later after realising she was not answering their calls.
Leite says when her sister-in-law found Gabrielly, her face had turned purple so she immediately tried to revive her, to no avail.
Gabrielly’s family called the emergency services, who announced her dead at the scene.
The body was taken to the Legal Medical Institute where is underwent post-mortem examinations.
Leite said: “She was like a daughter to me, I watched her grow up. It may pass with time, but she will always be my girl, who I will love forever.”
Reflux occurs when the sphincter muscle at the lower end of the oesophagus relaxes at the wrong time, causing the contents of one’s stomach to back up into the oesophagus. The reaction can be triggered by stress.
Despite being easy to treat, reflux can be a risk factor for other diseases if not treated appropriately.
According to the UN, the estimated number of individuals suffering from gastroesophageal reflux globally is 1.03 billion.
In 2010, 4.7 million hospitalisations and 1,653 deaths were a result of the disease, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney disease.