The mother of a toddler from the island of Kos who died en route to hospital in Athens earlier this month after suddenly falling ill hours before has blamed the “terrible standard of healthcare” on the island for his unexpected death.
Sarah Spanos, originally from the UK, believes her “very happy healthy little boy” Loukas, who was only 18 months when he died, didn’t get the care he deserved on the Dodecanese island, where the local hospital has been without a paediatrician for four years, leaving parents to rely on local private doctors. In recent years, islanders have repeatedly highlighted the effects of austerity cuts on public healthcare on the island, said to be the birthplace of Hippocrates, leaving the local hospital understaffed.
Loukas was pronounced dead at around 5.30am on October 4 in an Athens hospital, 14 hours after his mother noticed that he had a temperature.
“Every detail of that night will haunt us forever,” says Sarah, who eight years ago moved from the UK to Kos after meeting her husband Dimitris, whom she married four years later.
Deeply concerned for the wellbeing of their other son, they have now decided to return to the UK as a result of losing Loukas. “Our life has been destroyed. We must leave our family, our home, everything we love to keep our remaining child safe,” she says.