‘Wanted to be Better, But Got Picked On’: Indianapolis Woman Dies After Botched BBL In the Dominican Republic a Couple of Months After Getting a Mexican Gastric Bypass Surgery

An Indianapolis business owner and mother of two has died in the Dominican Republic after having a botched plastic surgery procedure.

Shacare Terry with her twin sister (Family photo)

Shacare Terry, the proprietor of a children’s daycare facility called Minnie Blessings in Paradise, visited the island on Monday, April 11, with her childhood friend Carlesha Williams to get a Brazilian butt lift (BBL) and another body-sculpting procedure by Dr. Jose Desena at Instituto Medico San Lucas.

Terry’s family says her condition worsened instead of improving during her recovery from surgery, with her health deteriorating until she could not breathe on her own, eventually dying while being treated.

An autopsy performed in the DR stated she expired due to pulmonary edema, cerebral edema, and respiratory failure. Edema is a swelling caused by fluid being trapped in body tissue.

The family says the autopsy is incomplete, believing the woman also had sepsis, an extreme response to infection as a result of the surgery.

A GoFundMe set up by the family says Terry was sent to the recovery home on April 14 but taken back to the clinic the next day.

This was the 31-year-old’s second trip to a foreign country to have plastic surgery done on her body in four months, according to her loved ones.

Her first trip was in December. She traveled to Mexico to get a bariatric surgery. Family members say she struggled with her weight, and the quick nip and tuck in the Dominican Republic provided a fast way to achieve the results she wanted.

Tammy Brewer, Terry’s mother, said, “She’s been having a hard time because she just wasn’t like a normal kid sometimes and always wanted to be better but got picked on because of her size and things like that.”

She continued to tell WKBN, “Being a big girl at a young age is always not good.”

Terry was not happy about a surgery she had in the past to create the perfect shape post-childhood, and post-pregnancy. She believed the only place this could get done was on the island.

“She had some butt implants put in before, and no one here would do it, and he said he can take these out and such and such and he needs more money,” Brewer said. “He wanted, I think, four or five thousand more dollars.”

The woman’s aunt, Nicole Baker, described to local station WXIN how Terry was excited about her new body. “She talked about the liposuction and the tummy tuck and just the excess skin you have from weight loss,” she remembered.

“A friend of hers, the girl who also had surgery, said they had took $20,000 down there each because they were told to bring cash, so she did say that, that she had $20,000 and her surgery was [$17,000] and to stay in the recovery home was [$1,500],” the aunt said.

“The person who went down there with her who had the surgery was essentially her caretaker. She made a post that she was hired to take care of two girls.”

The mother said after the operation, two days into her trip, she FaceTimed her daughter and noticed she was lethargic during the call. She said she immediately planned to get to her child, believing something was wrong.

“Mind you, I didn’t know nothing about them, I didn’t speak Spanish,” the mother said. “I called the U.S. Embassy because my concern was, ‘Can you go check on my daughter because I think she needs a higher level of care than what they’re giving her?’”

Terry’s twin sister Sharae also FaceTimed Terry. Like her mother, she knew something was wrong. “I knew something wasn’t right. I knew it in my heart,” she told WRTV.

Sharae contends her sister was healthy before her April trip and that “everything that went wrong happened there.”

Williams, her friend who traveled with her to the island, after the two had their surgeries, was recovering faster.

“I was moving around a lot more and Shacare wasn’t really moving around, she wasn’t doing anything,” Williams said. “She would lay in bed. I would try to get her to go downstairs and eat with me and she just wasn’t responding well.”

Williams said the staff taking care of Terry moved her into another facility but when she got to see her friend, she was instantly troubled.

“We go in there, and I see her, I almost fell out,” Williams said. “She was on all these machines. She was unresponsive, she wasn’t talking, eyes closed.”

Williams says Desena told her Terry was fine but needed to rest and was getting better. He later told her that she needed dialysis to recover. This treatment further led the family to believe the autopsy was incomplete. 

Williams said she was concerned because Terry did not look conscious. The medical professionals insisted Terry was sedated and could breathe on her own and that the wires connected to her were there for support.

Terry questioned them, asking, “So, if you unhook that, she is going to be perfectly fine?” 

Desena said, “Yea, the body just needs rest.”

This did not sit right with Williams.

“I’m reaching out to the mother to get down here,” Williams said. “I’m telling them what’s going on, but I’m trying not to scare them, but I want to scream ‘get down here!’” 

Brewer arrived at the island on April 19 and went to the clinic her daughter was at but noticed something was drastically wrong.

“Her mother basically tells me that ‘I don’t believe that my daughter is alive, I know my daughter isn’t alive, why won’t they tell me,’” Williams said. Once Brewer arrived, Williams returned to the United States.

On April 21, after leaving the clinic for a short time, the mother received a call that her daughter died from a heart attack. 

“[Shacare’s] mom said ‘Carlesha, I went back to my room for an hour, and they called me and told me that her heart stopped that quick,’” Williams said. “She hurries up and goes right back to the clinic and they said her daughter was already in a body bag.”

Brewer said, “I know they screwed up. I guess he just knew about plastic surgery. I don’t think he knew about if anything else goes wrong.”

When recounting the order of events, as told to her by Williams, Baker remarked, “She had a blood transfusion the day before surgery so that she could be prepared for surgery.”

“The friend noticed it was yellowing of eye whites,” the aunt explained. “And the side of her face was yellow, so it appeared like she had jaundice or something.”

According to the Guardian, in 2018, an excess of 23,000 plastic surgeries were performed in the Dominican Republic. Almost 80 percent of those operations, a total of 18,000, were performed on people not from the United States. 

The Centers for Disease Control said, “each year, millions of US residents participate in medical tourism. Medical tourists from the United States commonly travel to Mexico and Canada, as well as countries in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean” because their requirements are different from this nation, which is more regulated. The doctors also use “counterfeit medicines and lower quality medical devices may be used.”

Medical professionals further use social media to lure women, like Terry, with images of coca-cola bodies, claiming to be success stories and inexpensive bodies. 

Terry’s twin sister says the family knows the price of the surgery was a painful tax to pay and will continue to fight for justice.

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