THE tragic teenager who died on a school trip to Tanzania is the son of a South Shields headteacher, the Gazette can reveal.
Jack Burden, 18, was on the adventure with his classmates from Harton Technology College, in South Shields, when he suffered a severe allergic reaction on Tuesday.
Despite receiving immediate first aid, he could not be resuscitated.
His mum, Alison Burden, is the headteacher at Marine Park Primary School, on the Woodbine Estate in South Shields.
Mrs Burden, her husband Steven and their daughter Sarah, 16, are too devastated to talk about their loss.
But Sarah took to social networking site Facebook to thank people for all their good wishes, and said she still couldn’t believe he’s gone.
She wrote: “So hard knowing that I’m never going to see my big brother again.
“I keep thinking that he is going to jump off the minibus at school next Friday, but I know it’s just in my head.
“Knowing that he is watching over me and will always be by my side is all I need to get through it.
“I wish I had the chance to say one last goodbye to him.
“I’m just glad he was with his friends and was doing what he wanted to do and he was having a great time doing it. Love you loads Jack.”
The tragedy happened on the 19th day of a 28-day trip, organised by school expedition company, True Adventure.
A spokesman for True Adventure said: “The team had been completing a 28-day expedition, trekking in southern Tanzania and working on a charity project.
“They were on day 19 when the incident occurred.
“The True Adventure Operations Room in the UK was notified by satellite phone in the afternoon of July 22 that one of the team had suffered an allergic reaction.
“The team’s highly experienced and qualified expedition leader immediately administered CPR and EpiPens – an emergency treatment for anaphylaxis – but sadly they could not be resuscitated.
“The cause of the allergic reaction has not been confirmed.”
He added: “The Operations Room helped co-ordinate the team’s evacuation from their remote location by organising for an ambulance with an international medical support agency doctor and a medic to meet them at the nearest road-head.
“The thoughts and condolences of all at True Adventure are with their family and friends and the organisation’s efforts are fully focused on ensuring they are supported in any way possible.”