CALGARY — The pediatrician who initially dealt with a starved, diabetic child years before his death said the boy’s mother believed her son was misdiagnosed and that “she and God” were going to prove the doctors wrong.
Emil Radita, 59, and his wife Rodica Radita, who is 53, are charged with first-degree murder in the 2013 death of their 15-year-old son.
Alexandru Radita, who was one of eight children, weighed less than 37 pounds and died of complications due to untreated diabetes and starvation.
Dr. Robert White was called to examine the boy at B.C.’s Surrey General Hospital in December 2000 after the emergency room physician suspected the child had diabetes.
White testified that Rodica Radita was convinced the doctor had made a mistake in the diagnosis and she raised the issue several times in the brief time her son was in the hospital.
“She continued to express concern that the diagnosis was made by the doctor jumping to a conclusion and she was very uncomfortable with that,” said White.
He said she also made an unusual statement to him just as Alexandru was being transferred to the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.
“He didn’t have diabetes and she was going to prove the doctors wrong and made reference to God in our conversation,” White told court.
“She and God were going to prove us wrong. I remember the reference was she was going to prove the doctors wrong and God was going to make him better.”
White provided care to Alexandru for several months during which time the doctor suspected there was some problem with the boy’s diet and provision of insulin. But his diabetes was under control.
Two years later, White was called to help out again when Alexandru, severely malnourished and near death, was readmitted to the Surrey hospital.
White said the boy was gravely ill.
“He was so ill looking that the pediatrician on call was uncomfortable providing the resuscitative care that was necessary,” White said.
“He was so sick when he came in that time that I was taken aback myself. The mother was with him and so I chose to not engage in a big discussion with the mother, because I was a little emotional at the time.”
White testified that the boy’s mother said she had been changing his medication and had stopped giving him the long-lasting insulin.
“This is quite a drastic alteration in the care she had taken of her own volition. The justification was he got a rash.”
White said there was one more thing that still disturbs him because it showed how unresponsive Alexandru had become. The mother had indicated she was trying to get food and insulin into the boy before his arrival at hospital, the doctor testified.
He noted the boy was so ill they had to remove “a chunk of undigested and unchewed wiener from his esophagus.”
“He obviously was not very conscious.”