• Inspiring’ campaigner died after choking on sandwich

    An “inspiring” disability campaigner suffered a cardiac arrest after choking on a sandwich in a shopping centre, an inquest heard.

    Robert Droy, 44, from Hulse Road in Southampton, died six days later in an Oxford hospital.

    He choked on a piece of a sandwich he bought from the Paul bakery in the Westgate Oxford shopping centre.

    His partner has raised concerns after a paramedics said they had to park at least 600m away from their patient.

    Mr Droy died of a a hypoxic brain injury, which is caused when the brain is starved of oxygen.

    Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter said he would write to the shopping centre to ask about access for ambulances, but it was unlikely Mr Droy’s life could have been saved.

    A spokeswoman for Westgate Oxford said: “We will be answering any questions from the coroner in full.

    “The safety and wellbeing of our guests is our highest priority.”

    Mr Droy was a disability consultant who had cerebral palsy and sensory neuropathy.

    His civil partner, Garth Matthews, said he had chaired national disability conferences and met with former prime minister David Cameron at Downing Street.

    He said: “One of our friends once called him ‘the most inspiring person she had ever met’, and that was the single highest praise I heard from anybody.”

    Westgate Oxford Shopping Centre

    He said he was surprised to learn that, according to the paramedic’s notes, the ambulance had to park between 600 and 800m away from the centre.

    Mr Matthews said: “One can only ask ‘why?’ Was it a basic problem with the centre design? Was it the communication with the ambulance?”

    Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter said it was a “particularly tragic case” and recorded a verdict of accidental death.

    Source: BBC