A son from Kingston has spoken movingly about his father who died in front of the family during their Christmas Day meal last month (December 25).

Gino Fiorellino and his family were eating at the Al Forno restaurant in Kingston on Christmas Day when tragedy struck.

At first Gino thought his father Antonio might be choking on some food.

However, when family and staff members rushed to help him, the gravity of the situation soon became clear.

"I was sat literally opposite him, less than two feet away. He had a little choke and then was just staring at me or, as my wife put it, staring through me.

"Next thing my niece tried to get behind him to do the Heimlich manoeuvre, then a man at the next table got my Dad on the floor and started chest compressions," Gino told the Comet.

Your Local Guardian: Gino with his father AntonioGino with his father Antonio

Gino's sister dialled 999 quickly and a team of paramedics turned up within 15 minutes to try and revive Gino's father.

"The paramedics were very good, really good," Gino recalled.

"There were a lot of them and they tried to resuscitate him for about half an hour, but the heart wouldn't restart.

"They took him to Kingston Hospital and I followed with my wife," he added.

Soon afterwards they were told Antonio had sadly passed away.

He was 84 years old.

Gino described how supportive a figure his father had been during his life — especially after Gino lost his right leg to an infection after it was broken.

"My Dad was there for me all the time. He always made sure I had a roof over my head because we had various problems with the council about accommodation and benefits.

"He was such a generous guy and I'm going to miss him a lot," Gino said.

The Kingstonian was stoic about the manner of his father's passing, pointing out that the family were all around him when it happened.

"It was such a sad situation him dying in front of us but he knew he was loved and he knew we were there," Gino said.

He also praised the entire staff at Al Forno for how they responded to an extremely difficult situation.

"They were brilliant, absolutely brilliant," he said.

"Everyone was eating their Christmas dinners at the time and the way the staff responded — they were absolutely fantastic.

"We're all so grateful for how they treated us during those difficult times."

Speaking with the Comet, Al Forno's Owner Fabio Frusciante reflected on what happened.

"We thought Gino's Dad might be choking but after we realized it was food, we put him on the floor and started to pump his heart.

"After the paramedics arrived and took over. The restaurant was full at the time. We had to stop service of course but we have a great team here.

He also echoed Gino's own reflections about the circumstances of Antonio's death.

"It's so sad but he died with all his family around and without suffering," Fabio said.

Antonio's funeral is taking place on Friday (January 17) at St Agatha's in Kingston from 11am.