Grandad choked to death on jacket potato as wife attempted Heimlich manoeuvre

Dave Withill, 57, from east Hull, East Yorkshire, had spent the day with his grandchildren before he choked on a piece of jacket potato and died in hospital two days later

Dave Withill choked on a piece of jacket potato at his home in Ceylon Street, in east Hull, East Yorkshire

A beloved grandfather tragically choked to death on a piece of jacket potato, an inquest heard.

Dave Withill had spent the day with his grandchildren before returning home, in Hull, East Yorkshire, for dinner with his wife when the incident occurred.

The 57-year-old’s longtime-partner – who was not named at the hearing – tried to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre and then called for an ambulance.

The patient had, however, suffered brain damage and had a cardiac arrest, reports HullLive.

He died on October 18 last year at Hull Royal Infirmary with his family by his side.

In a statement read out during the hearing on Thursday, Dave’s wife said: “I came back in to the living room and saw Dave sat upright and I asked if he was okay and he shook his head.

An inquest ruled Dave’s death was accidental



“He keeled over so I tried to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre as I realized he was choking.

“I tried to remove the food from his throat and then called for an ambulance.”

Dave had been diagnosed with diabetes at 39 and it had eventually left him unable to walk, however, he remained a doting dad and granddad with a playful sense of humour.

Dave’s wife called for paramedics after she had tried to Heimlich manoeuvre

His wife continued: “He would always regale me with the mischievous antics he got up to in his childhood.

“I had known Dave since I was 14. He wanted to ask me to a party but he didn’t have the courage, so he got his sister to ask and the rest is history.

“We have two children and Dave was an amazing father and brilliant with his children and grandchildren.

“He was protective and also took on any of their problems.

He died two days after the incident at Hull Royal Infirmary


Jon Corken/Hull Live)

“I did everything with pleasure. The children often pulled pranks on Dave but he always returned it in kind and he loved it. “

The grieving widow went on to say he had issues with his legs in later life due to diabetic necrosis and eventually used a wheelchair.

Prior to that, he had been an avid walker, embarking on charity walks.

She said Dave was not a smoker or drinker.

However, he did suffer “some depression” due to his circumstances, as he needed assistance.

“But he refused to let it face him,” she continued.

“He always started the day telling me he loved me and he would do the same before going to sleep.”

The couple lived together in Ceylon Street, in east Hull, where the choking incident occurred.

On returning home, Dave’s wife had asked what he wanted to eat and he told her a jacket potato, she said.

Area coroner Lorraine Harris concluded Dave’s death was accidental on Thursday.

She said: “I offer my sincere condolences to the family. His wife gave such a lovely insight into the fun and laughter the family had with him.

“It is clear he was well loved and he leaves a big gap in the family.

“But they will have plenty of happy memories and I hope they concentrate on those,” she added.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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