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Published: 16:34, 31 July 2019
| Updated: 17:13, 31 July 2019
A man with learning disabilities described as the "life and soul" of his care home choked to death while eating a hot cross bun.
John Condron died on the evening of April 24 while eating with a couple of other residents at the Kingsley in Downs Park, Herne Bay.
An inquest into his death at Canterbury Coroner’s Court this morning heard how carer Sammy Abdullah attempted to resuscitate the 55-year-old, who also had autism, before paramedics arrived.
After appearing at the scene at about 8pm, ambulance staff attempted to treat Mr Condron for about an hour but were unable to save him.
The home’s registered manager, Rhonda Grant, told the hearing how carers would cut up his food to prevent him from choking.
She said: “A member of staff would be with him when he was eating.
“With food, John would build it in his mouth, which would result in him choking so we would cut it up his up into small pieces.
“But quite often he would take quite a bit, so staff would cover his hand to stop him putting it into his mouth.”
Because Mr Condron was judged to be at risk of choking, he would only be given soft food – often served with a sauce – and a thickened drink at meal times.
"He was the life and soul of the care home. He was very playful and well-loved by the clients and staff'"- Rhonda Grant, registered manager at the Kingsley
In a report read at the hearing, Eleanor Schagen, a language therapist from the Ashford and Canterbury and Coastal disability team, noted he had been judged to be safe to eat hot cross buns.
"John ate rapidly and overfilled his mouth," she added.
"His swallow was sometimes delayed, he was not aware of his behaviour and took food from others’ plates."
Ms Schagen also noted that Mr Abdullah, who had known John for 17 years, had acted quickly and there were no signs he needed any extra support that day.
"There were no indications that guidelines had not been followed," she continued.
"The bun was not too dry and was well-buttered."
Originally from Hackney, Mr Condron had been living at Cedar Oaks care home in Cavendish Road before moving to the Kingsley in 2001.
Since then, he became a popular resident at the home.
“I assessed John before he came to us, so I have been with him from the beginning,” Mrs Grant said.
“He was the life and soul of the care home. He was very playful and well-loved by the clients and staff.”
In his conclusion, assistant coroner Ian Goldup said: “Choking was the cause of death and I conclude that the death was an accident.”