Mike Ore, a disabled man who suffered from spina bifida, choked to death on July 8 inside a McDonald's restaurant in Cheltenham, England, while some customers reportedly stepped over him.
This shocking revelation was disclosed during an inquest into Ore's death in the Gloucestershire Coroner's Court this week, reports the Daily Mail.
Ore sat in his wheelchair when he began choking on his meal, fell on the floor and gasped for air for three minutes as customers stepped over his body to place their orders.
Johnny Langdon, one of only three people who tried to save the 47-year-old man, told the court: "I was standing in a queue at McDonald's with my family when I saw this man in a wheelchair clearly in distress. I and two ladies went to his assistance and tried to remove the food from his mouth, but he had turned purple in color and I realized that he was dying," reports The Telegraph.
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Coroner David Dooley, who ruled Ore's death as "accidental," told the court:
The deceased has spina bifida, gout and alcohol problems. He was also a heavy smoker. A ball of food had lodged in his esophagus and caused a blockage.
A toxicology report revealed a high level of alcohol in his blood and urine and his lungs were congested.
One of the effects of excessive alcohol can be a loss of co-ordination and an impairment of the swallowing reflex. Choking can result.
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The deceased had been drinking prior to visiting the restaurant and the alcohol could have inhibited the swallowing reflux. Unfortunately nobody appeared to notice his condition until it was too late."
According to the Daily Mail, several of Ore's friends wrote about his passing on Facebook, expressed their shock at the lack of help and called for first aid to be taught in schools.