A doctor who treated Diego Maradona for three decades has insisted that his death was a ‘form of suicide’ and that the footballing legend was ‘tired of living’.
Dr Alfredo Cahe, who treated Maradona between 1977 and 2007, believes the Argentine sportsman may have stopped eating or taking his medication after entering a state of depression following brain surgery shortly before his death.
‘This just does not seem like a simple heart attack to me,’ he told an Argentine radio station on Sunday.
Diego Maradona’s doctor of 30 years has claimed the sporting legend’s death was ‘a form of suicide’ brought on by a deep depression that began following brain surgery (file image)
Dr Alfredo Cahe believes Maradona may have stopped eating or taking his medication following his discharge from hospital after surgery, sparking the cardiac arrest that killed him
Dr Cache also claimed that Maradona had attempted suicide once before, in Cuba, when he drove his car towards an oncoming bus but survived the impact.
He claims he asked Maradona afterwards whether he wanted to kill himself, and said the footballer replied: ‘Maybe someday, what do I know?’
In the days before Maradona’s death, Dr Cahe said he spoke with Veronica Ojeda – one of the footballer’s ex-girlfriends and mother of one of his children.
He claims Veronica told him: ‘You know Diego said he was fed up with living and didn’t want to carry on anymore because he has done everything.’
After learning that Maradona had spent his final days after brain surgery in a single bedroom of his house, Cahe concluded the sportsman had indeed been depressed.
‘Diego was tired,’ Dr Cahe told the radio hosts, before adding: ‘All of these events were the consequence of suicide.’
Dr Cahe claims that one of Maradona’s girlfriends Veronica Ojeda (together in 2010) told him that the footballer ‘is fed up with living’ because he has ‘done everything’
Dr Cahe also claimed to have seen Maradona in hospital in Argentina during his final days, and was critical of the care he was receiving at the time.
He accused the hospital of failing to prepare a proper nursing plan for the hero, of neglecting him while he was in the hospital, and of discharging him too early.
‘For me there was negligence, recklessness and inexperience, all three,’ he said.
‘In the clinic I did not see him with a total monitoring and I did not see him care with a constant and continuous nursing plan.
‘He was not taken care of properly. He should have remained hospitalized, not in a house that was not prepared [for him].’
Maradona died aged 60 in his residence located in the city of Tigre located in the Argentine province of Buenos Aires on 25th November.
He had suffered years of well-documented health struggles including battles with both alcohol and drug addiction as well as obesity before he died.
However, prosecutors are probing whether the soccer legend’s death could have been avoided and searched his personal physician Leopoldo Luque’s home and office on Sunday as part of an investigation into alleged negligence.
Dr Cahe was also critical of the care that Maradona received, saying that he should never have been discharged from hospital after surgery into a house that ‘wasn’t ready for him’ (pictured)
After learning that Maradona spent his final days in this room, Dr Cahe said he became convinced that the sporting hero was depressed
Luque mounted a passionate defence of his treatment of the soccer legend after the searches, insisting: ‘If I’m responsible for anything when it comes to Diego, it was loving him, caring for him, improving his life to the end and extending it.’
Maradaona’s lawyer Matias Morla subsequently backed him by saying: ‘I understand and comprehend the work of the prosecutors but only I know, Dr Luque, what you did for Diego’s health, how you cared for him, accompanied him and how you loved him.
‘Diego loved you and as his friend I am not going to leave you alone. You left blood, sweat and tears and the truth always wins.’
The home and office of the former footballer’s psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov was also searched on Tuesday as part of the ongoing investigation.
Maradona’s daughters Jana, Dalma and Giannina are said to have pointed the finger at Dr Luque during statements they gave to investigators on Saturday.
Maradona had reportedly been prescribed a cocktail of drugs including antidepressants and antipsychotics used to treat bipolar disorder.
Health experts say the cocktail of drugs could have put stress on Maradona’s heart.
An initial post-mortem showed his heart failure caused a pulmonary edema.
Medics are also said to have detected dilated cardiomyopathy, a medical condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
Pulmonary edema, fluid accumulation in the lung’s tissue and air spaces, are caused by heart problems in most cases.