The football legend’s medical team acted “inappropriately, inadequately and recklessly,” according to a panel of medical experts.
The football icon Diego Maradona received inadequate medical care and was left to his fate for a “long, agonizing time” before his death last year, according to a panel of medical experts.
The 60-year-old Argentine died of a heart attack on November 25, just a few weeks after brain surgery from a blood clot. His death sparked a period of national grief in Argentina and brought a worldwide torrent of grief.
Shortly thereafter, the Argentine prosecutor convened a panel of 20 experts to investigate the cause of death and determine whether there was negligence. Maradona’s neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov and psychologist Carlos Diaz, as well as two nurses, a care coordinator and a medical coordinator, are examined.
In a 70-page document, the panel said Friday that Maradona “began to die at least 12 hours earlier” when he was found dead in his bed. The finding could result in death and a prison term of up to 15 years if convicted.
“The actions taken by the health team responsible for treating DAM (Diego Armando Maradona) have been inadequate, deficient and inconsiderate,” said the April 30 Medical Board report, sent by a source close to the investigation to Reuters was passed on.
“It showed clear signs of a prolonged period of agony, so we conclude that the patient was not being properly monitored as of 25:30 on 11/25/2020,” the report added.
Maradona was operated on on November 3rd, just four days after he celebrated his 60th birthday at the Gimnasia y Esgrima club he coached.
At the time, however, he was in poor health and had difficulty speaking. Maradona had battled cocaine and alcohol addiction in his life. When he died, he suffered from liver, kidney and cardiovascular diseases.
Two of the football great’s daughters have blamed Luque for Maradona’s deteriorating health. The panel concluded that with appropriate treatment in an appropriate medical facility, Maradona “would have had a better chance of survival”.
He died in his bed in a rented house in an exclusive neighborhood of Buenos Aires, where he received home care. Maradona had “not fully used his intellectual abilities” and should not have decided where he would be treated, said the experts.
They also found that his treatment was full of “flaws and irregularities” and that the medical team had left his survival to “fate”.
Maradona is an idol for millions of Argentines after inspiring the country to their second World Cup triumph in 1986.
As an attacking midfielder who spent two years with Spanish giants Barcelona, he is also popular in Naples, where he helped Napoli win the only two Serie A titles in the club’s history.