Brian O’Neill, 51, died on Saturday after he chocked on a piece of meat at a New Year’s Eve party and was on life support at hospital
A father-or-two who choked on a piece of meat at a New Year’s Eve party tragically died Saturday afternoon at a Nebraska hospital surrounded by his family.
Brian O’Neill, 51, was attending a New Year’s Eve party at Provisions by The Grey Plume with his wife Joan when the food became lodged in his throat just before midnight, rendering him unconscious.
Four party goers attempted to save him using the Heimlich maneuver before his friend, a doctor, performed an emergency tracheotomy with a steak knife.
He was then rushed to Nebraska Medical Center where he was placed on life support. The father-of-two suffered brain damage from the lack of oxygen, officials said.
His wife and their 20-year-old twin sons, Patrick and Ryan, gathered around his bedside and said their goodbyes as he was taken off life support on Saturday, according to a statement from the family.
Brian, pictured with wife Joan, was attending a New Year’s Eve party when a piece of meat became lodged in his throat
Four party goers attempted to save him using the Heimlich maneuver before his friend, a doctor, performed an emergency tracheotomy with a knife. He is pictured above left with his two sons in the middle, as Joan is far right
‘Brian’s family would like to extend their sincerest gratitude for all the prayers and support – especially from St. Robert Bellarmine Parish and Skutt Catholic High School,’ the statement from the family reads.
‘They’re hopeful the community can learn from this tragic accident and that it can be prevented from happening to someone else.’
His family said that he was a devoted husband, father and friend who loved sports and the color blue, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
The father-of-two also loved to help out at his local parish, St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, as he also volunteered as a youth baseball and basketball coach.
He was rushed to Nebraska Medical Center where he was placed on life support. Brian suffered brain damage from the lack of oxygen and was removed from life support on Saturday. He is pictured above with his wife and sons
His brother, Mike O’Neill, said that he sold office furniture at Duet Resource Group.
Brian and his wife were high school sweethearts who first met when they were freshman at Gross Catholic High School.
The couple who were married for 25 years were at the New Year’s Eve party together at the time of the tragic incident.
Doctors said the quick actions of his friend’s emergency tracheotomy – an incision in the windpipe – did not further hurt Brian, and when they finally dislodged the piece of meat, it was deep within his chest.
A GoFundMe page created on Friday has raised over $26,000 towards his medical and funeral costs.
The tragic accident occurred at Provisions by The Grey Plume, a party room in Omaha, Nebraska (above)