Woman Chokes on Hot Dog at Wrigley Field, Dies

A Chicago teacher who attended Sunday's Cubs versus Reds game at Wrigley Field died after choking on a hot dog at the park, doctors said.

Maureen Oleskiewicz, 28, began choking before the game started during the singing of the national anthem. She and her brother, Martin, were seated in the bleachers when she began choking shortly before 12:55 p.m.

No one knew that her airway was obstructed, Martin said.

Oleskiewicz was rushed to Illinois Masonic Hospital, which is nearby the ballpark. She was pronounced dead at 9:10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office

"A new word has to be invented for the pain that we feel," her mother, Margaret Oleskiewicz, said Wednesday.

Oleskiewicz was a beloved language arts teacher at Independence Junior High School in Palos Heights. Current and former students stopped by the school on Wednesday to pay tribute and leave tokens of their love for her.

Doctors were able to keep Oleskiewicz alive long enough to harvest organs. A 14-year-old is scheduled to receive her heart.

"A 14-year-old got a heart. I hope they take that and run with her kind and beautiful heart," her mother said.

Chicago Cubs officials said they responded to the incident at around 12:55 p.m. with ballpark staff and emergency personnel.

"We are saddened to hear news of the untimely death of Maureen Oleskiewicz.  We express our deepest sympathy to her family and friends.  We will continue to keep her family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," a statement from the club read.

A wake is scheduled for Oleskiewicz at Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Home in Orland Park on Friday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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