Cyprus Mail

Heartbroken family face more setbacks in fight for justice

Kalisha Gordon was 21 when she died in a Paralimni clinic in 2008

By Nathan Morley

THE FAMILY of a British woman that died when a doctor failed to diagnose her ectopic pregnancy have said they are “deeply frustrated” after their civil case against the private clinic responsible was postponed for a second time.

The case regards the 2008 death of Kalisha Gordon, 21, who was on a working holiday in Ayia Napa, when she fell seriously ill and rushed to the LITO clinic in Paralimni suffering from severe vomiting, chest pain and loss of consciousness. She died less than 12-hours later at clinic, leaving friends and family devastated.

The latest court date, scheduled for today, was postponed for a second time this year without explanation. Kalisha’s father Lloyd Gordon, who was set to fly to the island last night, expressed his disappointment at the latest setback.

“We have needlessly lost our daughter and the Cypriot authorities still feel the need to give us the run around. We were due to be in court Friday 20th September, but last Friday, I received a call from our lawyers informing me that the court date has been postponed for the second time this year,” Lloyd Gordon told the Cyprus Mail.

The family endured a three-year battle for an inquest into her death, which finally was held in 2011. Judge Christos Philipou, sitting as coroner, ruled that Kalisha died as a result of a haemorrhage shock due to a rupture of her right ovary caused by an ectopic pregnancy. It was also established that gross negligence on the part of the doctor and procedures at the clinic contributed to her death.

The inquest judge received evidence from a number of witnesses, clearly establishing blame with the duty doctor, who failed to diagnose that the pregnancy was ectopic. Faults in communication between the nurses at the clinic and the treating doctor were also to blame, with Judge Philipou adding that if proper care had been administered it is probable that Kalisha would have survived.

The clinic had originally claimed Kalisha died of heart attack. The duty doctor Petros Afxentiou, who has since left the clinic, claimed he carried out a number of tests and did nothing wrong. An ectopic pregnancy occurs outside the uterus, which is a life-threatening condition to the mother.

To make matters worse, the judge also stated that there were missing documents in the case medical file which warranted investigation by the police.

The inquest findings were then referred to the former Attorney General Petros Clerides with a recommendation to pursue a criminal investigation, but he stunned family lawyers by deciding that no action would be taken due to ‘insufficient evidence’, meaning neither the hospital nor the doctor were taken to court by the state.

Friends of the Gordon family accused authorities of showing a great lack of respect and described the situation as ‘descending into farce.’

“Petros Clerides wasted time in this case not answering letters from me and my legal team, basically they dragged it out for five years thinking we would go away but instead it has made us more determined, we all need to learn from this otherwise Kalisha’s life was lost in vain and for this reason we are also taking the Republic of Cyprus to the European Court of Human Rights,” Lloyd Gordon added.

In March, the Gordon family filed a case at the ECHR under the European Convention of Human Rights on the grounds that the state failed to proceed with criminal proceedings.
Gordon says that despite the setbacks, he is determined to see justice done.

“This matter has to be brought to an end,” he added.

The Gordon’s are still appealing for people to donate money so they can continue their fight for justice. Contact [email protected] for more details.

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