Croatian tourist reads about compatriot's plight, offers aid

Feb 08, 2013, 07:19 IST | Naveen Nair

Reading MiD DAY's report about 56-yr-old Marcel Koprivic who was found with a severed leg and a missing passport near the train tracks in Roha, 29-yr-old tourist Marijan Rojic rushed to JJ hospital and offered to help trace his family back home

Following MiD DAY’s report about a 56-year-old Croatian national found lying near the train tracks in Roha with a severed leg and brought to JJ hospital, an alarmed Croatian tourist who read about his plight rushed to his aid and approached doctors at the hospital yesterday. The good Samaritan flew for Croatia in the wee hours today to try and trace the man’s family.

Marcel Koprivic earlier refused to respond to questions from doctors and cops. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Marijan Rojic (29), a tourist in the city, is staying in a hotel in Colaba. He picked up a copy of MiD DAY yesterday and was shocked to learn of the condition in which his fellow countryman was found (‘From Goa to Mumbai, Croatian loses leg’, Thursday). Marcel Koprivic (56) a tourist who has spent years in Goa, was missing a leg and his passport when he was brought to Mumbai on Tuesday from Roha town, 100-odd km south east of the city.

Reading that the Roha police officials and the hospital staff were unable to get any personal details from Marcel, he rushed to the hospital in search of the victim. Marijan told doctors that he had read the report and could help communicate with the victim. He asked about his welfare. Marcel narrated his catastrophic experiences.

MiD DAY's report  on Feb 7
MiD DAY’s report on Feb 7

Marijan confirmed that Marcel was a Croatian and said he wanted his family to be informed about his condition. Marijan said, “He is asking me to contact the embassy officials and inform them that he has lost his passport. Few thugs at a beach in Goa attacked him and they stole his belongings. He wants to know when he would be discharged.”

Marijan contacted one of his journalist friends in Croatia, who will now try and trace the man’s family members by informing the local police. Cops and doctors said that Marcel lost his left leg in a rail accident. His left leg up to the mid-knee was amputated after he was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday. However, doctors said that the wound is not in good condition, and the patient requires another surgery.

Marcel said, “I remember a couple of men attacking me with sticks at a restaurant in Goa. They thrashed my leg and then threw me out of the restaurant. I reached the railway station with a swollen leg and took a train to North Goa. When my train arrived at a station, the ticket checker found me travelling without a ticket and threw me out of the train.”

Since Marcel had no money, the ticket checker let him go with a warning, telling him never to travel ticketless again. Marcel claimed that he decided to start walking, not knowing where he was headed. He said, “That is all I remember. I did not board another train towards Mumbai. I have no memory of how I ended up near the tracks.”

One of the doctors attending to Marcel said, “His wound was in a bad condition when we took him for the first surgery. Though we performed debridement of the wound, he would have to undergo another surgery. His left leg has to be amputated further to the mid-thigh level, otherwise the wound could develop gangrene.”

Marcel has given his consent for the surgery and requested the doctors to do whatever is necessary to help him recover. A surgery has been scheduled for 8 pm on Thursday. JJ hospital will send an official letter to the Croatian embassy in New Delhi, apprising them about the case and providing details about the patient. Once the identity is matched with the information at the embassy, there can be hope of the matter reaching Marcel’s family back home.

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