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Ilya Segalovich, 1964-2013

28 July, 2013

Ilya was officially declared brain dead at 1:30am on Thursday, July 25, 2013.

Brain death and respiratory failure are the modern technical indicators of death. Medical technologies these days allow hospitals to keep a body on life support for a few days to give family a chance to say goodbye. But this condition is irreversible. There are no cases of recovery after brain death.

Ilya's official medical condition was 'coma with no signs of brain activity'. From what has appeared in the media, it felt like some thought that he was in a vegetative state - a state, in which the brain is active, even though other, technically replaceable, organs have failed. A patient in a vegetative state can be maintained on life support for years. In the case of brain death, however, supporting a body longer than a few days is impossible. 

The only hope that we had was error in diagnosis. We couldn't make a miracle happen, but we could give it a chance.

We lost all our hopes last night. Even a body as strong as Ilyusha's couldn't bear it. His blood started to develop changes incompatible with life. We had to let him go with dignity. His life support was turned off yesterday in the afternoon, his heart stopped.

Ilya was diagnosed with 'terminal metastatic gastric cancer' last September. He wasn't given any chances. Everyone was devastated. And then a miracle happened. He got a good doctor, his strong body responded well to chemotherapy. Ilya was literally brought back to life and spent the whole of this year up to the last week very actively, the metastasis was gone. Everyone saw this and wondered at the impossibility.

Last week a tumour was discovered in his head. On Tuesday and Wednesday, cancer spread to brain membranes. Malignant meningitis led to irreversible consequences - his brain brunt out in less than 24 hours.

Ilya's body will be brought from London to Moscow on Wednesday.

Arkady Volozh

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