A carer claims his mother nearly choked to death on a gold tooth – which was lodged inside a McDonald’s chicken nugget.
David Cheetham, 52, took quadriplegic mum Gwenda, 76, to a drive-thru for a late-night snack and returned home with 20 nuggets, two fries and milkshake.
Gwenda is paralysed from the neck down and needs her son to feed her, but when she complained of being thirsty he stepped into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
But seconds later David heard a “gurgling” noise and rushed back into the room where he found his mother choking and struggling to breathe.
He feared the worst because doctors believe Gwenda is likely to die of choking due to the nature of her disability.
David began gently rubbing her back to unblock her throat but was amazed when moments later he claims she coughed up a gold capped tooth.
The full-time carer is furious with the response from McDonald’s, which apologised but requested he sent the ‘nugget’ tooth in the post – which he refused.
Housebound Gwenda said: “I felt something hard and it went into the back of my throat. It felt like it was stuck in there for such a long time.
“I’m quadriplegic and can’t move. I could not lift my head to cough it up. I couldn’t breathe.
“Fortunately David heard me choking. He ran in, sat me up, hit me on the back and told me to spit it out.
“I was frightened, I thought I was going to die. It was very scary and very unpleasant. I thought this is it, I’m going.”
David, who looks after his mother full-time, says she often chokes on food but every time it happens he fears the worse after being told it’s how she will end up dying.
The father-of-two said: “She will suffocate one day. It was two minutes of sheer panic. When she starts choking you don’t know if she will come back from it.”
The pair went to eh McDonald’s restaurant in Stockport, Greater Manchester, at 1.30am on December 23 because Gwenda was hungry.
David said: “We came home and I fed her. I went into the kitchen to make her a cup of tea. Because of her condition she cannot shout and can hardly cough.
“I became aware of a gurgling noise and ran back into the living room where I found her choking and she was struggling to breathe.
“I sat her forward and rubbed her back. As she was a coughing a gold capped tooth fell out on the floor.
“I’m not a drama queen but she may have choked to death. It could have been a child or it could have been a lot worse than it was.”
The letter David received from McDonalds.
But he is upset by the response of McDonald’s, which apologised after the incident but requested he send them the gold tooth.
“I got an email back saying how sorry they were and that they would open an investigation,” he added.
“I sent photos of the tooth but they insisted that I sent the tooth to them so they could test it – that was not happening and I refused.
“It was the only evidence I had. They just sent a pre-paid envelope.
“You can imagine them turning around and saying it got lost in the post and coming up with some excuse that they had mislaid it.
“I probably go to that McDonald’s three times a month but this has put me off for life and we are not using them again.”
In an email sent to David on December 27, McDonald’s senior customer service manager Rhona Floyd said: “May I firstly say how sorry I was to learn about your mother’s experience and I do hope she is feeling better.
“For your reassurance, I can confirm that we are currently looking into your complaint with the team at Stockport Forum and I will personally get back to you with an update over the next few days.”
Speaking on Wednesday, a McDonald’s spokesperson said: “Food safety is our highest priority and we follow rigorous standards in order to avoid any imperfections in our food.
“Our Chicken McNuggets are made of 100% chicken breast meat and are frozen in factory before arriving in restaurants to be cooked.
“It is therefore extremely unlikely this originated from our restaurant.
“We have asked Mr Cheetham to return the object to us, however he has refused.
“Without the object, we cannot investigate further and we would encourage Mr Cheetham to get in touch.”