Mother, 47, choked to death at a Brewers Fayre restaurant
29th January 2020
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Mother, 47, who choked to death at a Brewers Fayre restaurant while eating a mixed grill told her daughter ‘I’m going’ before she collapsed, inquest hears

  • Karen Hopkins was enjoying a meal out at a restaurant in Ebbw Vale, south Wales
  • Ten minutes into her mixed grill, she began to choke in front of her daughter
  • Despite efforts from other diners and paramedics, she could not be revived 
  • Verdict of accidental death recorded at Newport Coroners’ Court on Tuesday

Karen Hopkins (pictured) and her daughter Rhianno Evans were sharing a mixed grill at the Brewers Fayre restaurant in Ebbw Vale, south Wales, on August 23 last year when she began to choke and said ‘I’m going, I’m going,’ before she collapsed and died

A mother choked to death in front of her daughter while the pair enjoyed an evening meal out together, a coroner has ruled. 

Karen Hopkins and her daughter Rhianno Evans were sharing a mixed grill at the Brewers Fayre restaurant in Ebbw Vale, south Wales, on August 23 last year when she began to choke and said ‘I’m going, I’m going,’ before she collapsed and died.   

Despite the efforts of Ms Evans, members of the public and paramedics, they were unable to save Ms Hopkins who was declared dead 25 minutes after the ambulance was called.

An inquest hearing at Newport Coroners’ Court on Tuesday heard that Ms Hopkins and her daughter had enjoyed a day out at the beach in west Wales before returning home.

They decided to have a meal at the Brewers Fayre and Ms Hopkins ordered a mixed grill.

Ten minutes into the meal, Ms Evans noticed her mother seemed to be chewing something for a long time and then swallowed it but shortly later she began  coughing and hitting her chest.

In a statement read out to the court, Ms Evans said: ‘I asked her if she was okay and she shook her head, she was unable to speak because she was choking so I slapped her back.

‘Someone came over and did the Heimlich manoeuvre on her two times. This worked and some frothy brown liquid came out.

‘She tried to put her hand to her mouth as if she was trying to grab something and she said ‘I’m going, I’m going’ before collapsing to the floor unresponsive.

‘I screamed “someone call an ambulance she’s choking.”‘

An ambulance was called and arrived at the restaurant at 8.09pm. When paramedics saw Karen she was lying face down and they continued resuscitation.

Ms Hopkins had suffered a cardiac arrest so paramedics tried to establish an airway, which proved to be difficult, the inquest heard.

An inquest hearing at Newport Coroners’ Court on Tuesday heard that Ms Hopkins and her daughter had enjoyed a day out at the beach in west Wales before returning home. They decided to have a meal at the Brewers Fayre and Ms Hopkins ordered a mixed grill. Ten minutes into the meal Ms Hopkins began to choke and tragically died

Despite being able to remove some food from Ms Hopkins’ airway, paramedics were unable to revive her and she was pronounced dead at 8.35pm.

Ms Evans had been asked to wait in the reception of a nearby Premier Inn but was told her mother had died by a police officer.

A post-mortem examination was carried out which found residual food bones in Ms Hopkins’ larynx. A cause of death was given as acute respiratory obstruction caused by food bones.

Giving her conclusion, coroner Caroline Saunders said: ‘Karen Hopkins died on August 23, 2019, in Brewers Fayre in Ebbw Vale after choking on a meal.

‘Her airway became obstructed and she died from the hypoxic effect of airway obstruction.’

An accidental death conclusion was recorded.

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