A traditional American pastime ended in horror for one Chicago family this week when a Cubs fan died suddenly during a baseball game at Wrigley Field.
Martin Oleskiewicz, 23, said he was enjoying Sunday's Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds game with his sister, the duo eating hot dogs and attempting to catch fly baseballs, when 28-year-old Maureen Oleskiewicz suddenly slumped over between the bleachers after choking on her food.
"She just went down," Martin told the Chicago Tribune, saying his sister showed no signs or noise of distress before her sudden death. Stadium EMT's and a nurse in the crowd reportedly tried to help the woman, but to no avail.
"They were saying she didn't have a pulse. It felt hopeless," he said.
The teacher was transported to a hospital by a Wrigley Field private ambulance at 12:55 p.m. Sunday, said ballpark spokesman Julian Green. Oleskiewicz was pronounced dead Tuesday at Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
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The mother of the deceased, Margaret Oleskiewicz, said the Palos Heights, Ill., family is horrified by the incident.
"We're beyond devastated," she said. "A new word has to be invented to describe the pain we're feeling. ... It's unbelievable she is not with us."
The family said Oleskiewicz, a langauge arts teacher at Independence Junior High School, was a lifelong fan of Chicago teams, particularly the Cubs.
WJAC-TV reported that four of Oleskiewicz's organs were donated; donors receiving her two kidneys, liver and one 14-year-old receiving her heart.
"I hope they take that and run with that kind and beautiful heart," said Margaret Oleskiewicz, who referred to her daughter as full of life. "She was a joyful soul. She was personality plus. She just brought the fun. She was just a fantastic child, she was our daughter, she was our friend," she said.
ABC reported that the Cubs released a statement regarding the fan's untimely passing.
"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."