18-year old Linda Perez went into a coma after breast augmentation surgery in August 2013 and today cannot walk and talk.
“She goes into depression and crying,” her mother, Mariela Diaz, told the Miami Herald of her daughter, who has been left brain damaged, barely able to speak and requiring 24-hour nursing care.
“She sees that she cannot walk, and when she realizes what happened to her she cries,” said added.
On August 12, 2013, the vivacious and stunning young mother went in for surgery at the Coral Gables Cosmetic Center at a an alleged discount cost of $2,100.
An hour after her surgery, she suffered complications and fell into a coma from which she didn’t wake until October.
“While my client is no longer in a vegetative state, she still is not doing well physically,” the family’s attorney, Mark Eiglarsh, told the Daily News by email on Monday.
“She requires 24 hour care, [is] unable to eat, bathe, and/or go to the bathroom on her own. Additionally, she doesn’t speak or walk and has no ability to care for her young child. Her mother compares her condition to that of a helpless infant,” he wrote.
According to an attorney for the cosmetic center, there may have been some past medical problems with Perez that she wasn’t forthcoming about.
“We have conducted our own investigation and I have requested medical records from Ms. Perez’s family, including her toxicology reports, and I have been stonewalled,” Kubs Lalchandani told the Daily News of his claimed inability to get information.
In a report previously filed by Perez’s surgeon, Dr. Jacob Freiman stated that the medical problems Perez experienced after the surgery are similar to ones she experienced during child birth. He cites this information to one of Perez’s doctors.
“They put a spinal anesthetic, and she needed to be intubated,” according to his report describing her post-labor obtained by the Herald.
Freiman believes that Perez hid this information from him so it wouldn’t stop him from performing the surgery.
Such a claim is argued as “hogwash” by Eiglarsh who denies that she knowingly had complications from anesthesia in the past.
“We obtained her medical records from when she gave birth to her son and she had an epidural, without any anesthesia. The allegation that she had an adverse reaction to anesthesia was manufactured by the cosmetic center lawyer in an obvious attempt to blame the victim and avoid responsibility for their gross negligence,” wrote Eiglarsh.
Records show Freiman is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has no history of malpractice complaints.
But an anesthesiologist who also participated in the surgery does.
In 2006, Dr. Mario Alberto Diaz had been sentenced to 30 months in prison and two years’ probation after illegally pedaling drugs online in Iowa.
Diaz was also a defendant for medical malpractice in the death of a 35-year-old following buttock augmentation, according to the Herald.
His license is active, but he is no longer working at the center, according to Lalchandani.
“Our hopes and prayers are with her. We never want to see any patient under harm,” said Lalchandani of Perez’s condition.
Due to patient privacy, Lalchandani said he couldn’t provide further comment, but said no lawsuits have been filed by the family.
Eiglarsh promised, however, that there’s one in the works.
“As they have no insurance, collecting a nickel towards my client’s lifetime of required healthcare is unfortunately impossible. We are still determined to raise people’s awareness concerning the dangers involved in these types of clinics,” he said.