Maureen Oleskiewicz was where she loved to be the most Sunday afternoon -- at Wrigley Field. The 28-year-old teacher was there watching her beloved team, the Chicago Cubs, warm up before their game with her brother, Martin Oleskiewicz. One minute she was laughing and cheering, and the next she fell over.
According to the Chicago Tribune, she showed no signs of distress before then. "She just went down," Martin told the paper. At first he thought it was a joke, but he quickly realized the situation was anything but humorous. After emergency personnel attempted to resuscitate her, she was rushed to the hospital. Tuesday she was pronounced dead, and the shocking cause of her death was revealed.
She apparently had choked on one of the most quintessential baseball snacks -- a hot dog. Her brother had no idea what was happening at the time and said she didn't grab her throat or do anything to signal there was a problem. She just went down.
It's horrifying to think that her life was ended, in a split second, just like that. Her family is understandably shattered and in disbelief, as is the school community at which she taught.
If there is a bright side to this sad story, it's that at least she was doing what she loved when died, and that her organs have been donated to help others -- per her wish -- including a 14-year-old who received her heart.
I worry a fair amount about my kids choking on various foods, especially hot dogs, but I seldom think about it happening to my husband or me. While I don't believe this story should stop anyone from ordering a hot dog at a game, it should make us all a little more careful ... and a little more cognizant of how short life really can be.
Have you ever seriously choked on food or seen someone else do so?
Image via Chicago Tribune