The Ministry of Education yesterday said that Bounty Hall, Essequibo schoolchild Ryan Livan died of diabetes and there was no evidence that he had suffered injuries during a fight at his school as alleged by his relatives.
Livan’s relatives had said that he was attacked by three boys in the washroom area of the 8th of May Primary School. The relatives had called for the ministry to conduct a probe into the matter.
In a statement yesterday, the ministry said “Our investigation into this most regrettable death of this child has revealed categorically that the child died of medical conditions and not of any other reason.”
It said that Livan was examined on May 15th 2013 by Dr. Horalio Garcia Gonzalez who diagnosed him with Ketoacidosis Debut Diabetes Mellitus. The ministry said that according to the medical report, Livan was admitted on May 15th to the Intensive Care Unit of the Suddie Public Hospital Treatment and Diagnostic Centre. The report stated that Livan died the following day. The post-mortem conducted revealed that the child died of Ketoacidosis Debut Diabetes Mellitus and Acute Gastritis, the ministry statement added.
“The Ministry through the Minister has spoken to the Pathologist who confirmed that the he was aware of the allegations that the child was hit and specifically examined him for marks of violence and/or injuries. As an expert, the Pathologist concluded that the cause of death was Ketoacidosis Debut Diabetic Mellitus and Acute Gastritis and indeed confirmed that there was no evidence to support the allegations of physical trauma being suffered by the child”, the ministry statement added.
The Ministry said its “extensive investigations” also failed to elicit any evidence to substantiate the allegations of the child being involved in a fight and dying as a result of it.
“We understand and are sympathetic to the pain that the parents, teachers, relatives and friends may feel at this most untimely loss but we urge that good sense prevail in the pronouncements that are made”, the ministry said
Livan’s aunt Judy Livan had told Stabroek News that the child who sat the Grade Six exam this year returned to school on May 15 after going home for lunch. She said that since the students had already written exams they would usually play games during the afternoon session.
The distraught woman said that based on what she was told, Livan was playing cricket when an argument erupted after someone did not get a chance to play. She said that three boys, all Grade Six students chased Livan to the washroom area where one reportedly hit him with the cricket bat to the neck, another hit him in the head and another began cuffing him to the belly.
She said that her nephew fell to the ground and the three boys ran away. Judy said that when he managed to “catch himself”, Livan went to his classroom and sat down. She said that the teacher was in the class at that moment and the child recounted to him what had transpired and said that he wasn’t feeling well. ‘That teacher did nothing”, she said, adding that as the child was heading home he collapsed in front of the school gate and began to vomit.
The child’s sister, she said, happened to be in the area and Livan told her to go and tell his grandfather that his head was hurting and that he was not “going to make it”.
According to Judy, it was a man who was passing on a bicycle who picked him up and took him home.
While at home, Judy said that the child’s mother Roxanna asked him what had happened and he told her that he couldn’t see anymore.
Judy said that the child related the incident to her and called three names. When questioned as to why he did not tell his teacher anything, Judy said that the mother related to her that he did tell his teacher but nothing was done. Livan, she said was later rushed to the Charity Hospital after his condition took a turn for the worse. He complained of dizziness and his “eyes were turned back”.
After being assessed by the doctor, the child was given an injection and a bag of saline. She said that it was at this point she was told about what had transpired and when she spoke to the doctor he said that the child’s heart rate, blood pressure and sugar level were alright.
Judy said the doctor then told her that it seemed as though the child sustained a hit and he would be transferred to the Suddie Hospital. By this time the child was unresponsive. The doctor at Suddie, she said, later told relatives that his sugar level was 240 and he was given some insulin but still he was not responding.
Arrangements were then put in place to have him transferred to the Georgetown Hospital on the steamer. His mother, Judy said, has five young children and the woman went home to pack clothing for them to accompany Livan to Georgetown.
On her way back to the hospital around 4 am (on May 16) she received the news that he had died.