Lisa Fernandez, a self-titled beauty consultant based in Houston, Texas, was arrested last week for illegally administering silicone butt injections into a St. Louis woman who later died as a result of complications due to the procedure.
According to KHOU-TV, Fernandez was charged with manslaughter after being arrested last Tuesday, Nov. 16, for the 2018 death of Marja McClendon, after prosecutors say the 38-year-old traveled from St. Louis to the Texas city to receive her first round of injections at Fernandez’s apartment on April 24, 2018.
McClendon had reportedly been complaining after falling ill after the procedure and requested a refund from Fernandez, but the 47-year-old reportedly refused. Unable to receive her money back, the now-deceased woman returned the next day for her second round of injections.
According to the news station, an unidentified witness told authorities that the self-proclaimed beauty consultant paused several times throughout the procedure because McClendon was suffering from severe pain. She allegedly had trouble breathing and started to cough up blood.
McClendon went to the emergency room, but reportedly left before her medical evaluation was completed, according to court documents obtained by KHOU-TV. When she returned home to Missouri, she visited Saint Louis University Hospital where she later died on April 30, 2018. Medical examiners concluded that the woman died from a “silicone pulmonary embolism,” which is blockage of a blood vessel.
McClendon’s uncle Calvin Arnold told ABC13, the mother of three “loved her children.” He added, “She was just an outgoing person, loved to have fun and she loved her family.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that “injectable silicone is permanent and stays in your body.” Dr. Matthew Greives, with the UTHealth Houston/Memorial, explained that silicone was not approved by the agency because it “ travels in your bloodstream to your heart and your lungs and it causes a massive blood clot. And composed of silicone in your lungs and which is in many cases fatal.”
Two of McClendon’s kids are now under the care of her sister, Deshonna Arnold. “I’ve been the mom, the auntie, and all of the above. It’s been really hard,” she told the news station, before stating it wasn’t the first time her sister had surgery like this one done.
“She got them done before, in Houston. So that wasn’t her first go around here, but apparently, it was her last,” she added.
Fernandez was connected to McClendon’s death after she confessed to her actions and later admitted she was unlicensed when she was arrested for driving without her license last week. She had allegedly been illegally carrying out these procedures from her home since 2004, prosecutors revealed. Harris County Assistant District Attorney implored Fernandez’s other potential victims to come forward.
“We are concerned — cause this is a trend right now to receive buttock injections — that there may be other victims. We would encourage anyone to come forward who has received buttock injections,” said Harris County Assistant District Attorney Nancy Ta during a news conference.
Fernandez appeared in court the day after her arrest, where a judge set her bail at $40,000 and ordered that she cannot perform any unlicensed medical or cosmetic procedure. She was denied a personal bond. The FDA has reportedly launched an investigation into Fernandez’s crimes.
McClendon’s uncle Calvin Arnold warned others about against taking this route to beautify themselves.
“It is not worth it. It’s not worth it. I tell anybody that’s listening. It’s not worth taking a chance and putting a foreign object in your body that could possibly take your life.”
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