Tributes after Falkirk dad Paul McMillan dies in choking tragedy

Tributes have been paid to a “gentle giant” who died suddenly at home last week.

Monday, 14th March 2022, 1:00 pm
Updated Monday, 14th March 2022, 5:26 pm

Paul McMillan, 41, was eating dinner with wife Jennifer when he choked on a piece of steak.

Despite her attempts to help him and the efforts of paramedics, Paul suffered a cardiac arrested and died.

Jennifer said: “It was such a shock. One minute we were sitting eating and the next thing he began choking.

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Paul McMillan, 41, from Falkirk who died on March 8

“I tried to help him, even attempting the Heimlich manoeuvre but Paul was a big guy and I couldn’t manage.

"It all happened so quick and I still can't believe he has gone but at least I know that I tried to help him.”

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Now she is urging others to try to get some first aid skills so they could help a loved one or even a stranger if the situation arose.

Paul McMillan, with wife Jennifer on their wedding day in 2018.

"That’s my one comfort – I did what I could for him,” she added. “The paramedics were wonderful, working on him for 90 minutes but they couldn’t do anything. I’ve since been told that if a doctor had been sitting next to him even they wouldn’t have been able to save him.”

Originally from Port Glasgow, Paul moved through to Falkirk in 2017 after the couple met.

They married at Gretna Green in 2018 and set up home in the Bog Road area with Jennifer’s daughter Lucy, 10, who she said he thought of as his own.

"He was devoted to Lucy. Sadly she was upstairs when it happened and heard everything. She was the one who let the paramedics into the house.”

Paul worked at Webhelp in Larbert as a call handler.

He was also a great football fan and for many years was secretary for Port Glasgow Old Boys Union team which plays in the Scottish Amateur Football League.

Jennifer added: “Only a few days before we had been out for a meal to celebrate my 40th birthday. I had been through breast cancer last year and had got the all clear in October.

"We had four weddings to go to this year and so many other plans and holidays that we wanted to have after the Covid lockdown.

"Paul was a gentle giant and the sort of person who would help anyone. He was full of fun but if you needed it, he would give you the shirt off his back.

"So many people have been in touch since he died and all saying such nice things about him – people he worked with when he was just 18 and one woman who said they had gone out together at high school.

"We are all so shocked that one minute he was here and next he had gone.

"I just think he is on an extra long shift and will be home soon.”

Funeral arrangements have still to be finalised but Jennifer plans for a service in Falkirk with another the following day in Greenock.

As well as Jennifer and Lucy, Paul is survived by mum and stepdad Linda and Gordon McKenzie who live in Port Glasgow.

A Just Giving appeal for the family and you can donate here

The organiser said: “Paul was loved by all who knew him, a very kind and caring gentleman.”

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