Italian Toddler Forgotten in Car by Dad Dies, Organs Being Donated

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An Italian toddler was left in the hot car by his father for five hours, Associated Press reports. Three days later, the 22-month-old girl, identified as Elena, died. The father is a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Teramo. He thought he had handed the child to the nursery before going to work but left her in the car where the weather outside was around 30 C’ (86F’).

He returned from work five hours later and found the toddler barely breathing in the car. Three days later, doctors at the pediatric hospital found Elena brain dead. According to Daily Mail, “Doctors battled to save her life but they were unable to do so despite an operation reduce a massive brain swelling brought on by the high temperature in the car.”

The prosecutors might charge the father with manslaughter but have not decided yet. The man insists that he inexplicably thought that he had dropped her daughter off at day care. “I just don’t know what happened. I was convinced I had dropped her off. I locked the car and went to work – it’s as if someone pulled the plug out of my brain,” the father said.

The mother, identified as Lucio Petrizzi, with tears on her eyes appealed on her husband’s behalf, saying that it “could have happened to anyone.” Petrizzi also said that her husband was an exemplary father who loved his daughter. “He was always busy himself with me and Elena. He is not guilty of anything. He is an exemplary father,” she said.

Meanwhile, organs from the girl are being donated. According to Italian news reports, the heart and liver were given to two children, while the kidneys are being checked. Her heart reported was given to a girl in Bergamo, while her liver was granted to a boy in Turin who had been in the transplant list for some time.

Dr. Francesca De Pace, doctor in the hospital in Ancona and coordinator for transplants in the area, thanked the parents for giving permission for Elena’s heart, liver and kidneys to be transplanted. “If people stop and reflect, this might be the only consolation, the donation of organs, the only thing that might give some sense to this tragedy,” she said.

“There is always a high demand for children’s organs,” Dr. De Pace added. “The gesture of these heartbroken parents must be admired because through the death of their child, new life is born, new hope is given. It is an act to be admired, maybe an act to help them overcome this tragedy.”

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