Sixteen days after he was admitted to JJ hospital, Croatian national Marcel Koprivic (56) breathed his last on Wednesday night. Marcel was brought to the hospital on February 5, after he was found with a severed leg near the train tracks in Roha, located on the Mumbai-Goa route.
Doctors at JJ hospital, to prevent the wound from getting gangrenous, had amputated Marcel’s left leg to the mid-thigh level after securing his consent for the surgery. Doctors treating him said that his wound was cleaned and debridement was done daily.
A week later, on February 14, Marcel fell from the hospital bed, and hospital staff had complained that he was not eating any food. Doctors claim that his condition worsened and he was shifted to the Critical Care Unit (CCU). Dr T P Lahane, dean, JJ group of hospitals confirmed that Marcel passed away on Wednesday in the hospital.
Dr Lahane said, “His condition worsened and we shifted him to the ICU. Despite our best efforts we could not save him. He was suffering from severe septicemia in his amputated leg since the day he was admitted to the hospital.”
Marcel’s body has been sent for a post-mortem, but it is yet to be conducted, said the dean. Dr Lahane said, “The embassy has asked us to perform a post-mortem, but we are waiting for an official communication from them to move ahead with the autopsy.”
In a medico legal case, if a patient dies within 24 hours of admission to the hospital, an autopsy needs to be performed to ascertain the actual cause of death. However, if the patient has been admitted for over 48 hours before succumbing, then the doctors treating him can declare the cause of death without performing an autopsy.
The last time Marcel spoke with this reporter, he had complained of back pain after falling from his bed and inquired if his embassy was informed about his condition. (MiD DAY had reported about the fall in ‘Croatian tourist with severed leg falls off hospital bed, hurts back,’ dated February 15). Several journalists from Croatia were in constant touch with this reporter and were trying to locate Marcel’s relatives using the details from MiD DAY’s articles and pictures.
Lost in translation
Relatives of patients admitted in the same ward informed this reporter that Marcel would request for something in English, but they could not understand what he said. He used to keep talking to himself.
Background Roha police found Marcel with a severed left leg near the Konkan railway tracks on February 5 and rushed him to JJ hospital in the city. He had only spoken to MiD DAY’s reporter revealing his name and other personal details.
He also claimed that unidentified people in Goa had stolen his belongings and his passport after they mugged him. He had been living on the beach of Palolem in South Goa and used to visit several restaurants in the area. Marcel had no clue how he landed near the tracks and claimed that he had not traveled by train from Goa towards Mumbai.