‘Oh, how you suffered’: B.C. social worker’s letter to Alex Radita – Calgary

Social worker Patricia MacDonald was not allowed to read her victim impact statement about the death of a diabetic 15-year-old boy in the care of his parents.

MacDonald unsuccessfully fought against Alex Radita’s return to his parents in 2004 after he was seized by B.C. social services.

Radita died in 2013 in Calgary.

This week, ​​MacDonald prepared a victim impact statement but it wasn’t read in the Calgary courtroom because the judge agreed with defence lawyers that she was too far removed to be considered a victim. She had not had contact with Alex for about eight years at the time of his death. 

Below is her edited statement.


I have been attempting to write this victim’s statement since testifying at your murder trial, Alex. However I would like it to be an action statement as opposed to a victim statement.

Victim implies helpless and indeed, Alex, you were helpless in the hands of your parents, however, how you faced this horrific circumstance was brave and heroic.

Patricia MacDonald was a social worker involved with the Radita family in 2003/2004 and tried to keep Alex away from his parents. (Supplied)

You showed such strength in the worst of circumstances … Seeing your frail, skeletal body and yet after all you have been through forcing a misplaced smile on your very unhappy face. Those eyes that I remembered having a twinkle, a spark of light, looked dull and sad; the eyes of someone grieving.

Indeed you were grieving the loss of your own self. I find it difficult to understand why you had to suffer so. I do believe, Alex, you as a child were sent to this earth with a clear purpose. You were diagnosed at age three to parents who would never accept that diagnosis.

You suffered, oh, how you suffered.

I was aware of your previous hospitalizations and the efforts to educate your parents on how to manage your diabetes. When your file was transferred to me, as your protection family social worker, my team leader and I…

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