Woman dies after suffering brain damage during plastic surgery in Mexico, family says

KTRK logo
Monday, November 26, 2018
Texas woman dies after brain damage from plastic surgery complications
Laura Avila had traveled south to Mexico for surgery in October, but things turned complicated when the anesthesia traveled up to her brain.

A Texas woman who suffered brain damage after receiving plastic surgery in Mexico has died, according to her family.

Laura Avila's sister, Angie Avila shared the news on Facebook that Laura died Saturday morning around 8:20 a.m. "She's the love of my life and I know she will continue to watch over me and guide me just as she always has," Angie said in her post.

RELATED: Woman suffers brain damage after undergoing plastic surgery in Mexico, family says

In late October, 36-year-old Laura Avila traveled south to Juarez, Mexico for a rhinoplasty. She was supposed to go into surgery on the morning of Oct. 30, but it was pushed to noon because surgeons flying in from Guadalajara were running late, her family told ABC affiliate KVIA.

Avila's fiance, Enrique Cruz, was not permitted to see her when he returned to the facility around 4 p.m., although he'd been told the surgery would only take four hours, he told the station.

Once Cruz finally spoke to doctors, they told him that the director of a nearby hospital came in and saw her, saying, "We need an ambulance right away."

Avila suffered complications from the injection of anesthesia and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Although the anesthetic was injected into her spine, it traveled to her brain, and she suffered severe brain damage, Angie Avila said doctors told her. In addition, she suffered from a heart attack and deprivation of oxygen, Angie Avila said.

Laura Avila spent four days in a Mexican hospital before she was transferred to the University Medical Center in El Paso.

Investigators for the Mexican state of Chihuahua have searched the facility where Laura Avila received the surgery, KVIA reported. Authorities were looking into whether medical negligence played a role in the complications she suffered.

Laura Avila's family juggled the difficult decision of whether to remove her from life support, as doctors said "there's really nothing else they can do for her," Avila said.

"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," Angie Avila said. "She is the person I love the most on this earth, she's a second mom to me."

Cruz, who has been with Laura Avila for more than 10 years, said the pair were "married by God."

"No matter what happens I want her to know I have a special place my heart (for her)," he said.

ABC News contributed to this report.