Soldier who Contracted Chicken Pox was Forced to Run 10 Kms on Military Base, Says Family
On Dec. 30, Hayk Khachatryan, who was serving his mandatory two-year term in the army, died. The soldier’s grandmother, Aida Avagyan, has written an open letter (published by local news outlet A1+) in which she ponders the cause of death and asks: “What is the reason that in the 21st century chicken pox became the cause of death for an 18-year-old soldier?”
In the letter, Avagyan outlines the events leading to her grandson’s death, who was called to service on Jun. 1, 2011. Hayk was an excellent serviceman, she writes; however, on the morning of Dec. 29, 2011, Hayk begun to experience sharp pain in his abdomen area, followed by epileptic seizures. Doctors said he had appendicitis and should remain in hospital, under their supervision, so if necessary, he can undergo surgery. According to Avagyan, it was already apparent that Hayk had contracted the chicken pox virus.
“His father’s insistence that he be moved to the hospital for infectious diseases was refused with the reasoning that first the appendicitis must be treated then [doctors] could work on treating the chicken pox,” Avagyan writes.
Nevertheless, Avagyan continues, after his father continued insistence and threats, Hayk was moved to Yerevan’s Nork-Marash Infectious Diseases Hospital where it was confirmed that he had chicken pox, which was in a very neglected and complex condition.
“According to the doctor, nearly all of Hayk’s internal organs were damaged including his brain, and there was practically no hope to save his life. And the real reason for the abdomen pains and recent epileptic seizures became clear. Let us also note that during conversations with his son, his father found out that when Hayk complained about his health on the base, he was accused of feigning illness and forced to run 10 kms.
“On the night of Dec. 30, at 11:40 pm, Hayk died, leaving a series of unanswered questions,” Avagyan concludes in the letter.
According to Meri Sargsyan, head of the media and public relations division at the RA Ministry of Defense’s investigative service, a case has been launched under charges of RA Criminal Code Article 376 Section 2 (“negligent service that caused grave consequences”). No arrests have yet been made.
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