A WEDDING planner died 12 hours after sampling a hot fishcake that burned his throat and caused him to choke, an inquest was told.
Darren Hickey’s voice box swelled after he was given the dish to taste at the wedding venue he ran in Chorley, Lancashire, in April.
He visited the urgent care ward at Chorley Hospital and was sent home with paracetamol and told to return if the pain got worse.
Mr Hickey (above), 51, went home to rest but his partner Neil Parkinson called an ambulance after he started choking. He was rushed to Royal Bolton Hospital but died soon after.
Pathologist Dr Patrick Waugh told Bolton coroner’s court the case was very rare and normally seen in people who had inhaled smoke in fires.
The hearing was told Mr Hickey had fought his way back to health from a stroke that left him struggling to walk and speak seven years ago.
Acting senior coroner Alan Walsh praised him for his ‘caring and compassionate’ charity work which had earned him the Stroke Association’s Inspirational Person of Courage award.
The court heard a review was being carried out at Chorley Hospital. But Mr Walsh said there were unusual circumstances: there were no burns in Mr Hickey’s mouth and the damage was too far down the throat to see without special equipment.
Recording a verdict of accidental death by asphyxiation, Mr Walsh said: ‘I believe there are enormous lessons to be learned. This was caused by eating a fishcake, small and very hot but with catastrophic consequences. I find this an immense tragedy.’