A California mother died while undergoing plastic surgery at a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, and two women, who were operated on by the same surgeon the same day, are fighting for their lives.
All three women underwent surgery on Friday, Jan. 29, at Art Siluette Aesthetic Surgery, where the procedures were performed by Dr. Jesús Manuel Báez López, however, Keuana Weaver succumbed to her injuries during the operation, while Weaver’s friend Kanisha Davis, and another woman, Esmeralda Iniguez, were re-admitted to emergency rooms days after their surgeries with life-threatening effects.
Keuana’s mother, Renee Weaver, 58, learned of her daughter’s death from a relative after believing her to be in Florida receiving a tummy tuck. She is “heartbroken” and confused about the events leading to the tragedy. “I’m heartbroken. I want to know what happened,” she told The San Diego Union-Tribune.
“Keuana was a very independent woman; a good, loving, smart, and very intelligent Black woman,” she added of the late mother of her 13-year-old and 1-year-old grandchildren. “That doctor took a lot from me and my family and I most definitely have to have her story out there.”
She also expressed her regret that Weaver elected to receive the liposuction and tummy tuck surgery in the first place “I’m mostly sad this happened to my daughter because she was already so beautiful to me, inside and out, she just couldn’t see it.”
Weaver’s cause of death was ruled as “secondary hypoxic encephalopathy,” or damage to the central nervous system caused by inadequate oxygen and blood supply. The clinic offered to refund the cost of her surgery, a total of $6,700.
Davis, a nurse, ended up being hospitalized for two weeks following her liposuction and tummy tuck procedures and admitted that she first realized something was amiss after observing the clinic’s post-op procedures. “They didn’t check my hemo. They just kept sedating me and sedating me,” said Davis. “And me being a nurse, I knew something was off.”
She added, “If I hadn’t gone into the hospital when I did, I would have died. I was slowly bleeding to death. I was weak.”
The third woman, Iniguez, was rushed to the emergency room just days after her surgery and almost died of septic shock. She has been in and out of the hospital with kidney failure since February. “He tightened my abdominal muscles too much, squishing all my organs together and cutting off blood supply to my kidneys, causing something called abdominal compartment syndrome,” she said.
López obtained a master’s degree in “aesthetic surgery” in 2011 from the Instituto de Estudios Superiores en Medicina, Jalapa, Veracruz.
“We’re working very hard to make sure that doctors who are practicing without the proper credentials are immediately shut down and are investigated by the attorney general,” said the state director of medical tourism, Atzimba Villegas. “It’s essential for the entire industry that patients feel safe and are well cared for and get the results they are looking for.”
The Asociación Mexicana de Cirugía Plástica, Estética y Reconstructiva, A.C., a voluntary professional organization of plastic surgeons that requires proper certification from all members, in communication to The San Diego Union-Tribune, denied the doctor’s membership.
A Facebook group named “Botched by Baez” was created for fellow victims and had over 800 members at the time of this writing.