Former MLB pitcher dies in Venezuela amid country's medicine shortage

Marcos Carvajal, 33, died from pneumonia amid Venezuela’s medicine shortage. (Getty Images)

Former Rockies and Marlins pitcher, Marcos Carvajal, died on Wednesday in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, the Miami Herald reports. He was 33 years old.

Making the situation much sadder are the circumstances that reportedly contributed to Carvajal’s death. According to the Miami Herald report, Carvajal succumbed to pneumonia that was not treated in time because of a medication shortage in his home country.

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“According to press reports from that nation, Carvajal could not receive the medicines to treat pneumonia that had been afflicting him in recent days and his body could not withstand the disease,” the report states.

In November, the Miami Herald reported that the medicine crisis in Venezuela is approaching “levels comparable to the poorest nations.” Vital medications needed to treat illnesses and help ease patients’ pain are in short supply. As a result, illnesses that aren’t being treated are lingering or worsening, leaving hospitals overwhelmed with patients and thousands of people at risk of not being treated in time.

Sadly, Carvajal is just one of the many whose lives couldn’t be saved.

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Though he didn’t make a major impact in MLB, appearing in just 42 games between the Colorado Rockies in 2005 and Miami Marlins in 2007, Carvajal is being remembered fondly by those who competed with and against him.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott posted a remembrance as well, while also noting the troubling circumstances:


Carvajal had been working with his family since officially retiring from baseball in 2011.

If anything, here’s hoping his untimely death can bring more awareness to a heartbreaking situation that will only continue to grow and threaten more lives if not addressed.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Yahoo Sports Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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