In a year full of tragedy, one of the most far-reaching losses was that of football icon Diego Maradona.
The Argentine forward, known for his legendary goals in the 1986 World Cup, passed away in his Buenos Aires home on November 26, 2020. He was 60 years old.
The news rocked the sports world. The President of Argentina declared three days of national mourning. Posts mourning Maradona became the first and third most-liked Instagram photos of all of 2020. His passing was a huge blow to a great many fans.
The cause of death was a reported as a heart attack, following two weeks after a bleed on the brain which had required surgery. However, it turns out it wasn’t as simple as heart failure.
The Maradona family was not satisfied with the initial conclusion; his attorney called the events surrounding the medical emergency “criminal idiocy” and demanded an investigation. And that’s just what they got.
Prosecutors in Argentina launched a full investigation; police raided the home and clinic of Dr. Leopoldo Luque, the surgeon who had performed brain surgery on Diego. A special medical board was appointed to decide if there was any wrongdoing.
Now, months later, that investigation has apparently reached its end — with seven medical professionals in total facing criminal charges!
The autopsy revealed Diego died in his sleep from acute pulmonary edema, fluid in the lungs caused by congestive heart failure. Psychotropic drugs used to treat anxiety and depression were found in his system, though it’s unclear what role, if any, they played in his death.
The board’s report ultimately determined the medical team which had been responsible for Maradona acted in an “inappropriate, deficient and reckless manner” and then left him “to his own devices.” Apparently they felt he should have been monitored more closely after the brain surgery.
In addition to the brain surgeon, Maradona’s psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, as well as two nurses, a nurse coordinator, another doctor, and a psychologist have been charged with “simple homicide with eventual intent.”
Per ESPN, that charge could get them anywhere from eight to 25 years in prison!
The charges are an explicit accusation that the medical team could have saved Maradona’s life, had they done their jobs correctly. Frankly, that makes the whole thing all the more tragic.
[Image via IPA/WENN.]