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Funeral of Wesley Gurney, from Canterbury, who died after choking at Society Rooms Wetherspoon's pub in Maidstone

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Family and friends will gather today to remember a once-troubled man who had turned his life around when tragedy struck.

Wesley Gurney choked on a piece of steak in Wetherspoon's and died three days later in hospital.

His mother Jackie Gurney says that after many years battling drink and drug issues, the 41-year-old had moved away from Canterbury and was making a new start.

Wesley Gurney died after choking on a piece of steak
Wesley Gurney died after choking on a piece of steak

“The last time I saw him, I noticed how much better he looked and he was in a good mood,” she said. “It really looked like he was turning his life around.”

Mrs Gurney says that police called her late on June 29 to tell her that Wesley had been taken to hospital following the incident at the Society Rooms Wetherspoon's pub in Maidstone.

Early the following morning, she and Wesley’s father, Glenn, went to the hospital after doctors called to say he was in a serious condition.

She said: “Apparently, his brain had been starved of oxygen which meant he had to be put on a life-support machine.

"He was my only child and I can only say that when the doctors said there was no hope and turned it off, it was the worst day of my life.”

Wesley was a football-mad youngster who grew up in Whitstable and went to the Sir William Nottidge School.

“He was in and out of homelessness but got good help from Catching Lives,” said Mrs Gurney. “Unfortunately, he had lost a lot of teeth because of his poor health which may have contributed to him choking. It’s such a tragic waste. He had a new life in front of him and was very well-liked.”

Mrs Gurney says all who knew Wesley are invited to his funeral at Barham Crematorium at 11.20am.

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