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MIchael, Cdls UK 'founding child' dies in day trip tragedy

MichaelMichael, who was 31, is believed to have choked on a McDonald’s doughnut while sitting in the minibus of his residential care facility while on a day trip to Weston-Super-Mare.

Staff at the fast-food restaurant rushed out to try to resuscitate Michael, who lived in Bristol, and he was taken to intensive care at Weston General Hospital. Michael was said to have stopped breathing for 19 minutes.

Michael was on a life support machine but the decision was made turn it off on July 19. His parents Anne and John agreed that his organs could be donated.

A terminally ill 38-year-old man received Michael’s liver and his life was saved. “That gave us some comfort” Anne said.

A post-mortem showed that Michael was in good health prior to the choking incident and that he should have had a normal life expectancy. An enquiry is being held into his death.

Anne said, “It was such a shock. Our daughter was married on the 8th July and Michael came to the wedding and saw all the family and had pictures taken with them all. When he was born he wasn’t expected to live at all, so we had all those extra years with him.

“The people at his residential home were absolutely distraught, he was very much part of a family there too. We are all still devastated.”

It was Michael’s diagnosis that led Anne to find out more about CdLS and with help from the US Foundation, get together with three or four families in the UK that had children with the syndrome. She continued to run the group until 1990 and helped the Foundation begin its great growth.

“I feel Michael was directly responsible for the family group starting,” Anne said. “We will miss him dreadfully.”
Reaching Out newsletter
December 2006