19-year-old dies after brain damage from breast implant surgery, Colorado family says
A 19-year-old Colorado woman who was permanently brain damaged after breast augmentation surgery has died, her family said.
Emmalyn Nguyen from Thornton underwent a breast implant on August 1, 2019. According to her family's lawsuit against Dr. Geoffrey Kim, Nguyen, then 18, was not monitored for the first 15 minutes after the anesthetic was administered.
"Emmalyn's parents and siblings are heartbroken," said attorney David Woodruff, according to CBS Denver. "Unfortunately, this turn of events was unexpected."
Nguyen spent the last 14 months of her life in a coma and died on October 4, WKRG reported.
Nguyen went into cardiac arrest, but Kim performed and stabilized CPR. She went into cardiac arrest for the second time and was stabilized again, but no one called 911 for five hours even though she was "neurologically unresponsive," according to the suit.
The family sued Kim and anesthetist Rex Meeker for negligence.
Meeker called 911 and Nguyen was taken to Littleton Adventist Hospital and stayed there for 22 days. She showed no signs of recovery from brain damage and was rushed to Vibra Hospital in Denver.
Lynn Fam told CBS4 that she had been "misled" about what happened to her daughter during the trial. She said that Dr. Kim told her, "Everything went well. The only thing is that we didn't go ahead with the procedure because her heart rate dropped but she is fine. He said everything is fine, Emmalyn is fine, everything is fine . She is young, she is healthy, she will be fine, it just takes her a long time to wake up. "
Nguyen's parents told Fox 31 that their daughter "wanted to improve her self-image" by having implants.
Meeker was sued on a similar case in 2009 after reportedly working as an anesthetist for Paula Harty's breast implant surgery. Harty died after suffering brain damage during the procedure. Her husband sued and the case was settled in 2012, according to Fox 31.
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