Diego Maradona’s doctor and psychiatrist turned back an ambulance his nurses called to the Argentinean legend’s home 11 days before he died after he started vomiting.
Leopoldo Luque and Agustina Cosachov, two of the seven people prosecutors are investigating over Maradona’s death last November, decided the emergency response vehicle should turn round as it rushed to Diego’s rented home near Buenos Aires.
The shock revelation emerged in a WhatsApp audio conversation between Nancy Forlin, the head of the nursing team involved in the football star’s day-to-day care, and his daughter Gianinna.
Nancy told Giannina in the exchange, leaked to an Argentinian TV programme: “The nurses who were in the house called for an ambulance because of the vomiting, saying ‘tell me what you want to do. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to check him out and we have to make a decision because the ambulance is on its way.’”
Diego’s daughter replied: “I’m in a WhatsApp group with Agustina, Luque and the others and they told me it had been sorted and my dad was asleep and they were going to wait till tomorrow because he was resting well.”
Nancy ended up agreeing to cancel the ambulance, saying: “If you decide to wait until tomorrow, ok, I’ll get it to turn round and tell the nurses.
“Our advice was obviously that it should go to the house but if you don’t want to, we can’t go against your wishes.”
Mariano Perroni, who was also in charge of the nursing team caring for Diego after his release from hospital following a brain blood clot op, told Argentinian TV programme Los angeles de la mañana : “The duty nurse reported Diego was suffering from nausea and vomiting because of something he ate and an ambulance was called.
“When I found out it had been cancelled, I offered to take the doctor in the ambulance to hospital in my own car, get Diego admitted and wait while he was examined in case emergency attention was required.”
Perroni, another of the seven people being investigated, added: “It couldn’t be done because they didn’t want Diego to see a doctor.”
The homes and offices of Luque and Cosachov were searched soon after Maradona’s death aged 60.
Diego’s doctor was branded a “son of a b****by Maradona’s eldest daughter Dalma in February over a series of crassly-worded messages he exchanged with Cosachov and other colleagues.
They were leaked to Argentinian media after experts accessed phones belonging to them that were confiscated by investigators following the home and office searches.
Luque told a business partner on WhatsApp after Diego collapsed before it was known he had died: “The fat man’s going to end up kicking the bucket.”
He is also said to have told Cosaschov when she confirmed efforts to revive Diego were failing as he drove to the scene: “Let me know if they’re annoyed with us.”
Luque has denied any wrongdoing despite criticism of his supervision of Maradona’s care following his release from hospital.
The seven people under investigation, who also include Diego’s psychologist Carlos Diaz and two of his nurses, are expected to be told by the end of the month whether they will face manslaughter or more serious charges.
A medical panel preparing a report on the circumstances surrounding Maradona’s death is said to be studying whether he was the victim of negligence or his untimely end was the result of something more sinister.
A well-placed source said on Thursday that the report would help prosecutors decide whether Maradona “had died, been killed or been left to die.”
Post-mortem results revealed recovering cocaine addict Maradona, who also had alcohol problems, had suffered heart failure which 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.
Subsequent blood and urine tests showed he had no traces of alcohol or illegal drugs in his blood and urine when he died but was suffering from major heart, liver and kidney problems.
They also showed up a cocktail of prescription drugs including Quetiapine, Venlafaxine and Levetiracetam which are used to treat depression, panic attack and epilepsy among other conditions.
Although some of the drugs found in his system can cause arrhythmia, the tests confirmed there is no evidence Maradona was being given medication for the heart disease he was suffering.