Teenager left severely brain-damaged after breast implant surgery goes wrong
Per Fox News, a Colorado teenager has been left severely brain-damaged after suffering a heart attack during a breast implant procedure back in August. Last week, her family filed a lawsuit against her plastic surgeon and nurse.
Emmalyn Nguyen, 18, went under the knife at Colorado Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery on August 1 earlier this year. The breast augmentation was scheduled to be performed by Dr. Geoffrey Kim.
However, after being administered with anesthesia at around 2:00PM by nurse anesthetist Rex Meeker, Nguyen was "was left unobserved in the operating room" for roughly 15 minutes.
According to the lawsuit filed on Wednesday, employees at the plastic surgery office "discovered that Ms. Nguyen’s lips and face were blue and that cyanosis was quickly spreading to her upper extremities and torso."
Nguyen's heartbroken family speak out about her daughter's condition in the video below:
Nguyen then went into cardiac arrest and her family claim in the suit that no one "immediately" attempted to resuscitate the teenager.
Attorney David Woodruff told Fox31 Denver that Emmalyn was left lying on the operating table for five-and-a-half hours before somebody called for an ambulance.
Emmalyn's mother, Lynn Fam, told KCNC-TV (a local CBS station) that her daughter - a graduate of Mountain Range high school - had saved up for the $6,000 procedure, which many of her friends and family had undergone before. Fam also said the teenager was perfectly healthy prior to going under the knife.
Per PlasticSurgery.org, 313,000 breast augmentations were carried out in 2018, making it the most popular cosmetic surgery in the US.
"I was fine with it. We didn’t think anything like that was going to happen to our daughter. I was a teenage girl once before," Fam said, adding: "To us, it felt safe."
But after the two-hour-long procedure started to considerably overrun, Fam revealed: "I just had kind of a weird feeling."
Opening up to KCNC-TV, Fam claims that staff at the facility repeatedly lied to her about what was happening - alleging that, at one point, Dr. Kim had even informed her all was well with her daughter. Speaking of the doctor, Fam said:
"'Everything went fine. The only thing is we didn’t proceed with the procedure because her heart rate dropped but she is fine', he said. 'Everything is fine, Emmalyn is fine, everything is good. She’s young, she’s healthy, she’ll be okay, it’s just taking her long to wake up.'"
Eventually, nurse Meeker called first responders and Nguyen was taken to a hospital.
After spending 22 days there, the teenager was transported to a rehab facility, where Fam says Nguyen remains in a "minimally conscious state" - unable to eat, talk, walk or take care of herself. Her family claim she has suffered severe brain damage, according to her family.
Speaking to KCNC, Fam said: "To me, it’s a miracle she pulled through all that and she is still fighting this. I don’t know how they can sleep at night knowing they did this to her. They ruined Emmalyn’s life - not just hers but all of ours."
It was later discovered that Nguyen's adverse anesthesia situation is not the first for Meeker, according to KCNC. The news outlet also reported that another patient of his died back in 2009 just one month after breast augmentation surgery.
State records show Meeker was not disciplined for what happened.