A 36-year-old woman has been left brain damaged after a nose operation went wrong.
Laura Avila, from Dallas, Texas, was planning to get a rhinoplasty procedure – more commonly known as a nose job.
She had been refused an appointment three times in the US due to not having insurance, so instead Laura decided to cross the border and book an appointment at at the Rino Center in Juarez, Mexico on October 30.
Laura’s fiancé Enrique Cruz traveled with her to Mexico for the operation, where the cost of the procedure was estimated to be less than a third of the average US price.
However, the operation quickly went awry when Laura was given anaesthesia via her spine. Instead of travelling down her body, the anaesthesia went to her brain, sending the young woman into cardiac arrest within a few short moments.
Laura’s sister Angie told ABC-7 the complications resulted in Laura suffering severe global brain damage. To prevent further brain damage, hospital officials were then forced to place Laura into a medically induced coma.
She remained at a hospital in Mexico for four days before she was finally transported to a university hospital in El Paso, Texas – though according to Laura’s family, officials at the hospital were wary of letting Laura leave as her bill hadn’t been paid.
Tragically, doctors at the hospital in Texas explained there was nothing more they could do for the 36-year-old.
She’s been in a bed. She hasn’t moved. She’s opened her eyes, and there have been small movements, but she has a glazed look in her eyes. Doctors don’t believe she can see us. You know, she’s physically here, but not mentally here.
The Avila family have been left with the awful decision of whether they should remove Laura from life-support or transfer her to another medical facility closer to home.
As a family we need to decide whether we want to remove her from life-support.
We cry every single day and I think, right now, we’re just shocked and don’t want to believe it’s true, you know. She is the person I love the most on this earth, she’s a second mom to me.
The family are refusing to give up hope, and Angie has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Laura’s medical bills.
The page reads:
Any assistance you provide will go to her medical bills, which have quickly accrued in the last six days. Approximately $25,000 was incurred in Juarez plus transferring costs which are yet to be determined.
In El Paso, the costs began accumulating from the minute EMS picked her up at the border. She does not have medical insurance, so everything will come out of pocket.
There is truly nothing that woman cannot execute with perfection. She’s the best cook I know, she’s a fantastic dancer, a powerhouse singer, and she gives everyone a reason to smile. She is my Heartbeat.
ABC-7 confirmed investigators are looking in to Rino Center for possible medical negligence.
It will be necessary to obtain all the clinical and medical information on this procedure so we can be in a position to determine if the crime of medical negligence happened.
We will be gathering information on the case and expect to make a determination in a few days.
Our thoughts are with Laura’s family and friends at this difficult time.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.