Man dies eating hot fishcake

A WEDDING venue boss died after a eating a hot fishcake that burned his throat - causing him to tragically suffocate as his voice box swelled, an inquest heard.

Darren Hickey, 51, suffered the burn seven years ago when he was on his way out of the wedding venue he managed in Lancashire, England, The Sun reports.

He was asked to try the freshly cooked food by one of his chefs.

Acting senior coroner Alan Walsh heard how Mr Hickey visited the Urgent Care ward at Chorley Hospital after he complained of throat pain to his partner, Neil Parkinson, on the afternoon of April 4.

But he was sent home with paracetamol and advice to return if the pain increased. His voice box swelled and within a few hours he stopped breathing.

Mr Parkinson told the inquest he heard his partner making noises and found him choking.

"He shouted so I ran upstairs. He was stood up choking and coughing so I banged his back but then he slid forward onto the floor."

Dr Patrick Waugh, the pathologist who performed Mr Hickey's post-mortem examination, told Bolton Corner's Court the case was very rare.

"Basically, we normally see this scenario in people who are involved in house fires with inhalation of smoke which burns the airways or in industrial accidents with hot steam," he said.

"The patient can appear well, they will be talking to you, but then the swelling starts."



The horrifying death happened seven years after the former manager suffered a massive stroke that left him in hospital for 18 months and with some difficulty walking and speaking.

Despite this, Mr Hickey channelled much of his energy into charity work and was handed the Inspirational Person of Courage Award by the Stroke Association.

"He was enormously positive and enormously caring and gave to charity - he was a very generous, caring and compassionate man," Mr Walsh said.

"He was a remarkably strong and resilient man to overcome that stroke."

The coroner added the case had raised questions about the care at Chorley Hospital's Urgent Care ward, run by GTD Healthcare as an extra unit to take pressure away from A&E.

Mr Hickey had been seen by a practitioner in this ward who also contacted a specialist from the Ear, Nose and Throat unit at Preston Hospital.

But they were unable to find the damage, as it was too far down his throat to be seen without specialist equipment.

Samuel Eaton, head of services for GTD in the region, and Matthew Gaunt, from NHS Greater Preston Clinical Commissioning Group, told the coroner a full review would be carried out.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Walsh said: "I believe there are enormous lessons to be learned.

"This was caused by eating a fishcake, very small and very hot but with catastrophic consequences. I find this an immense tragedy."

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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