The football legend’s medical team acted “inappropriately, wantonly and recklessly”, according to a medical panel of experts.
Football icon Diego Maradona received inadequate medical treatment and was left to fend for a “prolonged and agonizing period” before his death last year, a panel of medical experts concluded.
The 60-year-old Argentinian succumbed to a heart attack on November 25, just weeks after undergoing brain surgery on a blood clot. His passing sparked a period of national mourning in Argentina and sparked a worldwide wave of grief.
Shortly after, Argentina’s public prosecutor convened a panel of 20 experts to examine the cause of death and determine whether there had been negligence. Maradona’s neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov and psychologist Carlos Diaz are under investigation along with two nurses, a nursing coordinator and a medical coordinator.
In a 70-page document, the panel said on Friday that Maradona “started dying at least 12 hours before” he was found dead in bed. The finding could result in a wrongful death case and a prison sentence of up to 15 years if convicted.
“The action of the health team in charge of treating AMD [Diego Armando Maradona] was inadequate, deficient and reckless, âsaid the medical council’s report dated April 30 and shared with Reuters news agency by a source close to the investigation.
“He exhibited unequivocal signs of a period of prolonged agony, therefore we conclude that the patient was not properly monitored as of 12:30 AM on 11/25/2020,” the report added.
Maradona underwent surgery on November 3, just four days after celebrating his 60th birthday at the club he coached, Gimnasia y Esgrima.
However, he appeared to be in poor health by then and had difficulty speaking. Maradona had struggled with cocaine and alcohol addictions during her life. He was suffering from liver, kidney and cardiovascular problems when he died.
Two of the great footballer’s daughters blamed Luque for Maradona’s deteriorating health. The panel concluded that Maradona “would have had a better chance of survival” with adequate treatment in an appropriate medical facility.
He died in his bed in a rented house in an upscale neighborhood of Buenos Aires, where he was receiving treatment at home. Maradona did not have “full use of his mental faculties” and should not have decided where he would be treated, experts said.
They also found that his treatment was riddled with “deficiencies and irregularities” and that the medical team had left his survival “to fate”.
Maradona is an idol to millions of Argentines after inspiring the country with just its second World Cup triumph in 1986.
An attacking midfielder who spent two years with the Spanish giants Barcelona, ââhe is also appreciated in Naples where he helped Napoli win the only two Serie A titles in the club’s history.