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In Zakarpattya gross negligence of doctors caused girl’s death
Little Marychka's heart stopped beating on November 26, 2015 Photo from family’s archive
Little Marychka's heart stopped beating on November 26, 2015

Little Marychka was fated to live only 2 years and 9 months. She was one of seven children of the Roma Geyza G., the resident of the village of Kholmok in Uzhgorod region. On October 26, 2015 the girl died in the emergency department of Uzhgorod children's hospital. Her death preceded tragic and unclear circumstances that are being examined by prosecutor's office now.

The first person who knew on Facebook about the tragedy in Zakarpattya was a human rights activist, consultant of Uzhgorod Law Community Center Myroslav Horvat. On November 27 he and his colleague Gennady Chychak, the head of Zakarpatye CF "Romano Lungo Traio" talked to the father of the lost girl. Human rights activists met him on the day of the funeral and recorded video of his testimonies and address to the police*.

"They kicked us out of one hospital, from another… Though seeing that the child was dying on my hands..."

According to Marychka’s father, even in the morning on November 26 the girl was healthy. But at about noon parents noticed that the child had a fever. They brought the daughter by car to a rural out-patient clinic where the district doctor made her an injection to reduce temperature. However, upon return home the girl felt worst, she began to vomit. Parents called an ambulance, the doctor made the baby one more injection. The needle broke and the physician used the other "stronger, unclear cocktail". He warned: if there are no changes for better, in the morning the girl should be carried to hospital.

But in 20-30 minutes after departure of the ambulance the child got even worse: she started becoming blue, the body got covered in a rash. Parents again called the ambulance, but without having waited for it they carried the child to hospital by the neighbor’s car. On the road they met the ambulance which brought them to Uzhgorod children's hospital.

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On the day of the funeral Geyza told about tragedy and addressed police. YouTube screenshot.

“I was begging to rescue my daughter… They (the duty physician) said to me: "I can’t accept you" and didn't even examine her. "Bring her to a children's infectious diseases hospital", Geyza told.

The chief physician of the infectious diseases hospital examined the girl and made more two injections. However, they didn't accept her as well! They told to come back to the children's hospital again. The family returned. The girl was finally accepted. The unconscious child was delivered to ED. But it was too late... Marychka’s heart stopped beating. 

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In February of 2016 Marychka would be three years old. Photo: Myroslav Horvat's Facebook.

Geyza filed the claim to Uzhgorod inter-district prosecutor's office concerning doctors’ gross negligence on November 27, but no relevant activity is observed so far. The father expects the case to be properly investigated, being afraid that the police could receive a bribe.

The lawyer insists on independent examination

Since recent time the family is under protection of the lawyer Roman Bukhtoyarov. In his comment for "Legal Space" he noted:

“Today Geyza is recognized as the victim. I prepared and sent inquiries to the Health Care Department, hospitals, out-patient clinics to obtain information about manipulations with the child and papers: who made injections and what kind of, etc… I demand all medical documentation that is available".

The defender says that at the moment he possesses certain valuable information, however, he is not inclined to disclose it right now.

“We will try to achieve carrying out examination outside Zakarpattya region. In my opinion, an objective expertise with observance of legal subtleties in Zakarpattya is impossible. Besides, I guess, there are doctors interested in getting results in favor of their colleagues. Therefore, I will insist on carrying out examination in Kyiv, Odesa or Kharkiv”.

Support of human rights activists and public resonance are extremely necessary

During the whole time human rights activist Myroslav Horvat provides not only legal, but also moral support to Geyza’s family.

In turn the director of Roma Program Initiative of International Renaissance Foundation Olga Zhmurko commented on the situation:

“I talked to Geyza and sincerely sympathize with his family. In my opinion, it is very important to find out whether there was in this tragic case discrimination based on national origin or according to the social status (perhaps, the family had no money to purchase drugs and therefore, the qualified help wasn't provided). Unfortunately discrimination against Roma in access to medicine is rather widespread and if now we hold back this case without legal and human rights actions, everything will remain as it is”.

*Video testimony of Geyza and his oral appeal to law enforcement agencies attached.

The opinion of the International Renaissance Foundation cannot coincide with the point of view of authors of publication.

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