Woman Chokes on Hot Dog, Dies at Wrigley Field

'A new word has to be invented to describe the pain we're feeling': mom

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 9, 2013 9:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – One minute, Maureen Oleskiewicz was watching her beloved Cubs warm up before their Sunday home game against the Reds—and the next she had collapsed between the rows, unable to breathe. "She just went down," her brother Martin, 23, tells the Chicago Tribune. The 28-year-old hadn't made a noise or clutched her throat, so Martin didn't realize what had happened: She had choked on a hot dog she was eating. A nurse who was in the stands rushed to help, but to no avail; Oleskiewicz had gone into cardiac arrest. "They were saying she didn't have a pulse," Martin says of the EMTs who also assisted. "It felt hopeless."

As the national anthem played, Wrigley's private ambulance rushed Oleskiewicz to the hospital. She was kept alive there until 9:10am Tuesday so her organs could be donated, with her heart going to a 14-year-old, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Oleskiewicz taught language arts at Independence Junior High School in Palos Heights, along with religious ed classes at a local Catholic church. The church held a vigil for her Tuesday evening, and the school flew its flag at half-staff yesterday. "We're beyond devastated," her mother said. "A new word has to be invented to describe the pain we're feeling."

Fans mill about the bleacher entrance to Wrigley Field before a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres, May 1, 2013, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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