"He was just a kind, wonderful father and husband. He was looking forward to being a grandfather," the heartbroken wife said
Mark Higham, 60, was enjoying his dinner with his wife Lynne when he choked on a piece of meat, making it difficult for him to breathe. Lynne helplessly watched as her beloved husband died despite all her attempts to save him, the Metro UK reported.
Mrs. Higham told the court that she took her husband to the bathroom of the restaurant and slapped him on the back to free the blocked food, she then did a finger sweep of his mouth but it didn't work. In her statement, she mentioned that Mark had ordered steak and had eaten between three and four mouthfuls, before starting to choke. She then said that she had even tried to perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre but unfortunately it was not "strong enough". On calling for help, various members of staff at Gallimore's Fine Restaurant where the couple was dining, tried to assist Lynne by slapping Mark's back and eventually giving him CPR.
Paramedic Lee Hardman arrived at the scene at around 9.18 pm. According to his statement to the court, the CPR that was already being given to Mr. Higham by a member of the restaurant staff was satisfactory so he shifted his focus to finding the piece of food that had gotten stuck. He had brought Magill forceps with him which are used to remove foreign bodies from people's throats. However, he couldn't see anything stuck. reported the Manchester Evening News. Mr. Higham soon entered into cardiac arrest and was taken to the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, where he was pronounced dead, Mirror UK reported.
Dr. Rafat Saad, the lead clinician in intensive care, said that he managed to remove a small piece of food from Mark's windpipe, which was stuck n too far down to have been seen by Mr. Hardman. A post-mortem confirmed the cause of death was 'choking on food'. In court, it was revealed that Mark had suffered a number of strokes, including a major one in 2017, and had Parkinson's disease. Dr. Salmo told the court that people with Parkinson's disease can be 'susceptible' to choking. His condition was recorded as a contributory factor towards his death.
During the hearing, Lynne Higham paid tribute to her 'wonderful' husband. She told the court that he had grown up in the Whitley area and had attended the Wigan Grammar, before going on to study Electrical Engineering at Imperial College London. Mark worked as a chartered electrical engineer, before his retirement due to ill health in around 2013.
"He was just a kind, wonderful father and husband. He was looking forward to being a grandfather. He loved to go on holiday three to four times a year and he liked his steam trains," Lynne said. Speaking about the night of the incident, she added, "I'm still reliving it everyday," according to Mirror UK.