Five minutes after undergoing cosmetic surgery for breast augmentation, Linda Perez fell into a coma for two weeks. Perez, then 18, suffered severe brain damage and was unable to move or speak. Nearly three years later, she can only speak a few words and is only able to stand for a few seconds.
Now, her mother, Mariela Diaz, is speaking out to warn others of the dangers of plastic surgery clinics such as the Coral Gables Cosmetic Center in Miami, where her daughter underwent surgery.
“I tell the daughters and mothers to think it over before going to those clinics, because they never know how they are going to come out,” Mariela told the Miami Herald. “They should accept what they have naturally.”
The surgery was the second for Perez, who previously had a buttocks augmentation, the Miami Herald reported
The physician who administered the anesthesia, Dr. Mario Alberto Diaz, tried to resuscitate the girl after her heart rate and blood pressure dropped and she fell unconscious. He received an administrative complaint from the Florida Department of Health, which stated Diaz should have responded “in a more aggressive and timely fashion” and that he failed to provide an adequate airway for assisted breathing during the over 30 minutes of resuscitation attempts.
Diaz is a convicted felon who went to federal prison for the illegal sale of pills online after pleading guilty in March 2006, the Miami Herald reported. He was allowed to keep his license after a one-year suspension following his prison term. Currently, Diaz is allowed to practice medicine after a settlement in the Perez case requiring him to pay a $10,000 fine and complete 15 hours of Continuing Medical Education.
According to the Miami Herald, from 2000-2010, there were 46 office surgery deaths in South Florida.
Perez, who has a 6-year-old son, will never recover, doctors say, and the family is struggling financially. Their attorneys created a GoFundMe page to help cover medical costs.
Mariela Diaz told the Miami Herald that she only told her grandson that his mother is sick and that she feels like she’s raising two children.
“[My daughter] is like a baby again. I have to teach her to eat, carry her to the bathroom, help her to take little steps,” Mariela told the Miami Herald. “Her son is the one who helps me to take care of her.”