A trainee easyJet pilot died after she was bitten by a mosquito and developed an infection which spread to her brain, an inquest heard.
Oriana Pepper, 21, from Bury St Edmunds, had a “wonderful career and life ahead of her” after passing her theory exams on the airline’s training programme.
But while training in Belgium she was bitten by a mosquito on her forehead and it appeared to get swollen and infected, an inquest heard.
She went to A&E on 7 July 2021 and was prescribed antibiotics.
But Ms Pepper was driven back to the hospital two days later by her boyfriend James Hall after she collapsed, and she died three days later.
Suffolk’s senior coroner Nigel Parsley, recording a narrative conclusion, said Ms Pepper died “as a result of a serious infection caused by an insect bite to the forehead”.
He told her parents: “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.”
Her medical cause of death was recorded as septic emboli in the brain, which are obstructions of blood vessels, with infection by bacteria called staphylococcus aureus and an insect bite to the forehead also contributing.
In a statement read 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”.
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.”
Her mother said after the inquest that in memory of their daughter, they had “set up a small scholarship to encourage other women pilots” to enter the profession, working with the British Women Pilots’ Association.
“That’s a positive thing from her life,” she said.