Trainee pilot, 21, died after being bitten by mosquito on her forehead

A TRAINEE EasyJet pilot died after she was bitten by a mosquito on her forehead and developed a fatal infection, an inquest has heard.

Oriana Pepper, 21, was in Belgium for pilot training when the bite above her right eyebrow began to swell in July last year.

Oriana Pepper died after she was bitten by a mosquito and developed an infection

Oriana Pepper died after she was bitten by a mosquito and developed an infectionCredit: PA
The young pilot had arrived in Belgium for flight school

The young pilot had arrived in Belgium for flight schoolCredit: Getty

An inquest heard Oriana, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, was rushed to hospital on July 7 and given antibiotics and told to go home.

Two days later, she was taken back in by her boyfriend James Hall after she collapsed.

She died in hospital three days later on July 12.

Suffolk’s senior coroner Nigel Parsley said Oriana has died “as a result of a serious infection caused by an insect bite to the forehead”.

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An autopsy found the 21-year-old died of a septic emboli when the infection spread to her brain.

Addressing Oriana’s parents Tristan and Louisa, Mr Parsley said: “I’ve never seen a case like this before.

“It’s just one of those things that’s just such an unfortunate tragedy for a young lady who clearly had a wonderful career and life ahead of her.”

In a statement during the inquest, Mr Pepper said his daughter “loved nothing better than to go flying with her dad and her brother Oliver, also a trainee commercial pilot”.

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He said his daughter described flying as “having an office in the sky amongst the clouds”.

He added: “She had met someone she loved, she was training to be a commercial pilot and was fulfilling her dreams.”

Oriana’s boyfriend James, who she met a flight school in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, said they had been “bitten multiple times without any reaction” after arriving in Antwerp on May 20.

“We were assured by locals it was normal for the area and time of year,” he said.

She reported soreness in her eyebrow and a red mark after a bite, while she also had a “dull ache” in her back.

Oriana was later was taken to A&E where her swelling “significantly worsened”, James said.

He said they had been “advised she had an infection, likely due to mosquito bite” and given oral antibiotics.

On July 9, she collapsed and “was delirious and had difficulty talking,” which is when James drove her to A&E.

She later died with her parents by her bedside.

Her mother Louisa said the family had set up a “small scholarship” in memory of their late daughter “to encourage other women pilots” to enter the profession.

“That’s a positive thing from her life”, she said.