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'How Could She Be Dead?': Mother Speaks Out After Daughter Dies Following Cosmetic Procedure

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Mother Speaks Out After Daughter's Butt Lift Death
The mother of Danea Plasencia, who died in May after a Brazilian butt lift procedure, is warning others about the procedure. NBC 6's Dan Krauth reports. (Published Friday, Jun 28, 2019 ) The mother of Danea Plasencia, who died in May after a Brazilian butt lift procedure, is warning... See More

The mother of Danea Plasencia, who died in May after a Brazilian butt lift procedure, is warning others about the procedure. NBC 6's Dan Krauth reports.

(Published Friday, Jun 28, 2019)

Iolani Ferez went from planning her daughter's birthday one week to planning her funeral the next.

"There's not one minute that goes by that I don't think about her," she said during an interview with the NBC 6 Investigators. "She was not just my daughter, she was my best friend."

Ferez describes her daughter, Danea Plasencia, as "beautiful inside and out" but says she wasn't happy with her body after giving birth to her third child.

"She gained a lot of weight and just couldn't lose it," Ferez said.

Danea Plasencia and her three children.
 

Plasencia decided to have a Brazilian butt lift - a procedure in which a doctor removes fat from unwanted places and injects the fat into a patient's back side to make it fuller and more round.

"I was concerned but at the same time I wanted to see her happy," Ferez said.

She keeps a screenshot of the text message her daughter sent her right before her surgery on May 10. It was the last conversation between the two.

"I didn't tell her I loved her," she said. "Now, I regret it."

A screenshot of the last text message Danea Plasencia sent to her mother.

Ferez says she got an emergency call from the clinic about two hours after receiving her daughter's text.

"They go 'Ms. Ferez you have to go straight to the emergency room…she's blue, she stopped breathing," she recalled.

According to the autopsy report, her daughter died of a fat embolism - that's when a piece of fat gets into the bloodstream and causes the person to stop breathing.

"Oh my God, my daughter died like that?'" Ferez said.

The NBC 6 Investigators found she's one of more than a dozen women who died after undergoing the same procedure in South Florida. The surgeries were done by different doctors at different clinics.

More than a dozen women have died after undergoing a Brazilian butt lift in South Florida in recent years.
Photo credit: NBC 6

A family friend has now started an online petition calling for change to help to prevent more deaths.

"I lost my daughter, my only daughter," she said. "I don't want any other family to go through what I'm going through."

A series of NBC 6 investigations helped lead to a new law that goes into effect next year aimed at making plastic surgery safer. It will allow the state to immediately suspend a doctor's license in the case of serious injury or death.

The Florida Board of Medicine voted last month to prohibit doctors from inserting fat into a patient's muscle - as a way to prevent deaths. Doctors have also issued new recommendations on how the surgery should be performed.

Danea Plasencia and her mother, Iolany Ferez.
Photo credit: Danea Plasencia’s family

But all of these changes are going into effect after Plasencia's death.

"If any anybody plans to do this, think about." Felez said. "God forbid, if another girl goes through it and passes away, they're not the ones that are going to suffer. The family members are the ones that are going to stay suffering."

The family has set a GoFundMe page to cover the medical and funeral expenses

This story is from our sister station, NBC Miami. Click here for more investigative stories from NBC stations across the county.

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