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Venezuela's medicine crisis kills former Marlins pitcher

34-year-old former MLB pitcher dies of pneumonia

CIUDAD BOLIVAR, Venezuela – After pitching for the Miami Marlins, Marcos Carvajal returned to Venezuela. He was working as a baseball coach in Bolivar when he checked himself into a hospital in December.

He was suffering from a respiratory illness. Alejandro Castillejo, president of the state’s baseball association, said the former pitcher’s family had to scramble to find antibiotics. He was sent home and was unable to work. 

"We were calling him but he wouldn't tell us what was happening," Castillejo said. "We assume he was depressed by the situation, his illness and especially the high cost of the medicine."

Eventually the family was able to get the antibiotics with the help of a foreigner, but it was too late. Carvajal was rushed to the hospital Jan. 22 suffering from a relapse. He died of pneumonia a day later, Castillejo said. He was 34.