A groom saved his new bride’s life on their honeymoon after she started choking on a chicken CURRY – then waved her off in an air ambulance.
James Townley, 33, and wife Alyson 56, were expecting a hot and spicy post marriage break – but she nearly died and ended up in hospital after eating a tikka masala.
They were dining on the ready meal in their romantic holiday cottage when she suddenly started choking.
James gave her a smack on the back – dislodging a bit chicken from her throat.
It managed to clear her airways – but Alyson was still struggling to breathe.
James, a business development manager, was forced to dial 999 and first responders arrived at the scene within five minutes after the call.
But Alyson’s oxygen levels had dropped and a helicopter was scrambled to the Isles of Scilly where they had wed St Mary’s Church, Tresco.
She was rushed to the Royal Cornwall Hospital, in Truro, Cornwall – with James was unable to go with his wife due to coronavirus restrictions.
The choking had caused her throat to spasm and block and Alyson had blood tests and x-rays to check her lungs and discharged the next day.
But she was stranded on the mainland for two days due poor weather – before finally being reunited with James.
The couple had married on September 24 and were enjoying a break in Tresco when she started choking on the 27th.
Alyson, nee Bowe, a financial controller, from Middlewhich, Cheshire, said: “It was literally the first mouthful of a chicken curry.
“I was talking and eating at the same time and the chicken suddenly got lodged.
“It was really scary. I thought I was going to die.
“James rushed to my aid and hit me hard on the back – he managed to whack the chicken out of me – but I was still struggling for air.
“Thankfully paramedics arrived within minutes and rushed me to Tresco heliport to board a helicopter to hospital.
“After being checked over, I was allowed to go, but the bad weather and lack of transport on the Sunday left me stranded on the mainland – away from my husband – for two days.
“It wasn’t quite the honeymoon we had in mind, but I’m just relieved I lived to tell the tale.”
James had no choice but to stay behind on the island – as Alyson was rushed into the helicopter.
“I waved her off from the heliport and I said ‘I’ll see you tomorrow’,” James said.
“We had no idea then that she would be separated for two days.”
Alyson then underwent blood tests and x-rays to check there was nothing on her lungs when she arrived at the hospital.
“Luckily it sorted itself out,” she said.
“The choking had caused my throat to spasm and block even though the piece of chicken was removed.”
At 5am the next day – Sunday 27th September – Alyson was told she was free to go home.
“They asked me ‘is anyone coming to pick you up?’ I said ‘no I don’t think so my husbands on Tresco island’,” Alyson said.
“That’s when it dawned on me that I might get stuck and not be able to get back to James.”
Alyson left hospital at 7am on Sunday 27th September morning with a piece of paper with instructions of how to get back to the island of Tresco – 60 miles away.
“I was basically chucked out of the hospital and had to walk to Truro station to get a train to Penzance,” she said.
Still wearing the same clothes from the night before, she arrived in Penzance to find she was not able to get across to the island due to the bad weather.
“There was no way of getting over so I had to find somewhere to stay for the night,” she said.
“I was back on the island with no way to get my wife back,” James added.
“It was very surreal, I was just constantly trying to find a way to get Alyson back.”
Alyson was still unable to get back the next day on Monday 28th September and had to spend yet another night in Penzance.
“We just kept being beaten by the weather, I didn’t know if I’d even get back,” Alyson said.
She was eventually reunited with her husband on Tuesday 29th September morning.
“I was so glad to be back in James’ arms,” Alyson said.
“Were looking forward to making the most of the two days we have left here,” James said.
The couple want to thank the “amazing” response from the paramedics.
“We certainly won’t be forgetting our honeymoon anytime soon,” Alyson said.