A Russian physician who treated opposition leader Alexei Navalny after his poisoning has died "suddenly," according to a statement from the Omsk emergency hospital given to CNN.
Sergey Maximishin, deputy chief physician at Omsk State Medical University, "suddenly passed away" at the age of 55 a few months after Navalny fell ill during a flight and had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where he was taken to the emergency hospital.
"With regret, we inform you that ... the deputy chief physician for anesthesiology and resuscitation of the emergency hospital No. 1, assistant of the department of Omsk State Medical University, PhD of medical sciences Maximishin Sergey Valentinovich suddenly passed away," the hospital said in a statement. No cause of death was given.
A spokesperson for the Omsk regional health ministry informed the network that "preliminary data" suggests that Maximishin died from a heart attack, but did not supply any additional details.
Navalny's chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, confirms that "Sergey Maximishin was the head of department that treated Alexey Navalny and was in charge of his treatment — specifically his medically induced coma," and that he "knew more than anyone else about Alexey's condition so I can't dismiss possibility of foul play."
However, Volkov also notes that "Russia's health care system is very poor and it's not uncommon for doctors of his age to suddenly die. I doubt there will any investigation into his death."
The minister of health of the Omsk region, Alexander Murakhovsky, said in a statement that Maximishin "brought people back to full reality. We will miss Dr. Maximishin very much. He left too early and because of this the pain of loss is especially bitter."
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