YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — 6-month-old infant Seryozha Avetisian died in hospital on Monday one week after the six other members of his family were murdered in their home in Gyumri.
The baby boy survived his 2-year-old sister, parents, aunt and grandparents by only 7 days.
Seryozha had been in critical condition since being found stabbed in the chest on January 12 several hours after the massacre thought to have been carried out by a Russian soldier serving in Armenia’s second largest city. He underwent surgery in a Gyumri hospital before being transported to Yerevan’s Surp Astvatsamayr hospital the next day.
The baby’s condition stabilized and even slightly improved there in the following days as doctors kept fighting to save his life. They were joined by prominent colleagues from Russian over the weekend.
Seryozha’s condition deteriorated on the night from Sunday to Monday. The Armenian Ministry of Health announced his death late in the afternoon. In a statement, it spoke of “irreversible changes” in his organism resulting from sudden heart, lung and kidney failures.
The chief Surp Astvatsamayr medic, Nikolay Dallakian, reported the deterioration in the morning, saying that he and his colleagues are taking urgent measures to stabilize the boy’s condition. One of the experienced doctors from Russia assisting him, William Khachatrian, said just hours before Seryorzha’s death, “The fact that such a little child with such severe wounds has stayed alive is a miracle.”
Seryozha Avetisian’s death prompted a special written statement from president Sarkisian. “We have failed to save the life of little Seryozha … The light that was our sole consolation after the Gyumri tragedy has been extinguished,” he said.
Sarkisian again expressed condolences to the relatives of the Avetisian. “We must live on and achieve a just retribution for all this pain and this crime,” added the statement.