Wedding planner dies after eating fishcake so hot it burned his throat

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK

A man died after eating a hot fishcake that burned his throat and caused him to stop breathing, an inquest has heard.

Wedding planner Darren Hickey's voice box swelled up after he ate the food, before his condition gradually became worse and he choked to death.

Mr Hickey died 12 hours after eating the fishcake, which burned his throat and prevented him from breathing (SWNS)

He died having been sent home from hospital with paracetamol for the pain.

Mr Hickey, 51 - a former stroke victim - was given the fishcake to try by a chef at a wedding venue at around 12pm on April 4.

But the food burned the back of his throat, causing him to visit the Urgent Care Ward at Chorley Hospital as the pain grew worse over the afternoon.

The inquest heard Mr Hickey, of Bolton, Lancashire, would have had difficulty breathing and swallowing due to extreme pain and swelling.

Mr Hickey's symptoms are normally seen in people involved in house fires, caused by smoke inhalation (SWNS)

The damage to his throat was so far down it could not be seen without specialist equipment.

Pathologist Dr Patrick Waugh, who performed Mr Hickey's post-mortem, said the symptoms were normally seen in people involved in house fires, caused by smoke inhalation.

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Dr Waugh told the inquest: "The patient can appear well, they will be talking to you, but then the swelling starts.”

Mr Hickey was sent home with paracetamol and told to return if the pain got worse.


But partner Neil Parkinson heard him making noises and found him choking at around 9pm the same evening.

Mr Parkinson told the inquest: “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.”

Paramedics treated Mr Hickey at the scene and rushed him to the Royal Bolton Hospital but he was pronounced dead just after midnight, less than 12 hours after sampling the fishcake.

Partner Neil Parkinson (R) found Mr Hickey choking hours after he ate the fishcake. (SWNS)

Bolton Coroners' Court heard a full review into the incident would be carried out. Mr Hickey's cause of death was given as asphyxiation.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner Alan 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.”

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