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A California woman died and two others were hospitalized after they all received plastic surgery on the same day at a clinic in Mexico, according to a report.
Keuana Weaver, a 38-year-old mother of two, died on the operating table at the Art Siluette Aesthetic Surgery in Tijuana on Jan. 29, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Weaver’s friend, Kanisha Davis, said that both of them had scheduled liposuction and tummy tucks for that day with the same doctor.
Davis, a nurse, came home to Long Beach to learn that her friend had died — and then began bleeding internally and projectile vomiting.
She ended up having to be hospitalized for two weeks, according to the report.
“If I hadn’t gone into the hospital when I did, I would have died,” Davis said. “I was slowly bleeding to death. I was weak.”
A third woman, Esmeralda Iniguez — who didn’t know the other two patients but underwent surgery on the same day as them — said she nearly died from septic shock as a result of her procedure.
She has been in and out of the hospital with kidney failure since February.
The procedures were performed by the clinic’s director, Dr. Jesús Manuel Báez López, the women said. The local association of plastic surgeons said that he was not a member, according to the report.
“I’m heartbroken. I want to know what happened,” Weaver’s mom, Renee Weaver, told the newspaper.
A letter she provided to the Tribune shows that the clinic offered to refund the $6,700 of her daughter’s surgery.
She wasn’t even aware that Keuana had traveled south of the border until a family member called to tell her about her daughter’s death.
Keuana’s cause of death was listed as “secondary hypoxic encephalopathy,” a kind of brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation, according to the report. She leaves behind a 13-year-old and a 1-year-old.
“Keuana was a very independent woman; a good, loving, smart and very intelligent black woman,” her distraught mom said.
“I’m mostly sad this happened to my daughter because she was already so beautiful to me, inside and out, she just couldn’t see it.”
Davis, Keuana’s friend, recalled being concerned because she wasn’t hooked up to any monitors during her surgery and was released immediately afterwards, to a hotel room where she was supposed to recover.
“Me being a nurse, I knew something was off,” she told the newspaper.
“Did we know we were taking a risk being in Mexico? Yes,” Davis added. “But did we ever, at any time, think that risk would be death? No.”
Authorities in Baja California, the Mexican state home to Tijuana, told the Union-Tribune that they are looking into Keuana’s death.
“We’re working very hard to make sure that doctors who are practicing without the proper credentials are immediately shut down and are investigated by the Attorney General,” Atzimba Villegas, the state director of medical tourism, said in a statement.
“It’s essential for the entire industry that patients feel safe and are well cared for and get the results they are looking for.”
Neither Báez López nor the clinic responded to requests for comment from the newspaper.
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