Michael Worley: 'Larger than life' dad of 2 dies days after choking on steak at family barbecue
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND: Despite the family's valiant attempts, a beloved New Zealand father died after choking during a cookout. On March 3, Christchurch resident Michael Worley was eating some leftover steak when it got stuck in his throat.
Michael was able to alert his family and friends to his choking, and they acted quickly to help. “Straight away we started first aid on him,” his brother, Anton Worley, said. However, all the efforts made were in vain as his situation deteriorated even after paramedics arrived.
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'A massive void has now appeared in all of our lives'
Before Michael passed out, they were unable to get rid of the food in his throat. “When he’s lying on his back, we’re trying to work out how to release this blockage and what other first aid to do," Anton told Stuff NZ. Paramedics were able to remove the clog, and Michael was taken directly to the hospital. But he never gained consciousness and on March 7, he died in the hospital.
“It is with broken hearts that we announce the passing of Mike,” his brother wrote online. Anton added, “(He was) surrounded by his beautiful girls, loving partner, dedicated mum and loving brother. Mike has fought hard since Friday night but the initial injury had done too much damage to be survivable. A massive void has now appeared in all of our lives. The legend of Lenny will continue to live on in our hearts, minds and memories. We will always love the great man who touched so many people’s lives.”
Michael's daughter Charlotte said he “gave that fight everything (he) had. I’m sure we’ll hear you laughing from up there, we will love you and miss you forever.” Moreover, a friend paid tribute to Michael saying he “had an amazing knack of making people feel positive and happy when you were around him.”
'He had a laugh that filled the room'
The father-of-two donated his heart, liver, and kidneys, among other organs. He was a fit and healthy man who was committed to his family. Michael ran a carpet and vinyl company for 35 years. “Larger-than-life — he had a laugh that filled the room, and you’d hear him before you saw him,” Anton said. He added, “He was always there to lend a hand, and he really supported his daughters Charlotte and Lucy with their passions.”