Two weeks after undergoing a breast augmentation procedure at a Coral Gables clinic, an 18-year-old South Florida woman remains in a coma due to complications that left her with brain and heart damage, her family says.
Linda Perez, whose first name means "pretty" in Spanish, underwent the procedure at the Coral Gables Cosmetic Center, and now will require a tracheotomy to help her breathe, family members said.
"What they gave me is essentially a vegetable," her mother Mariela Diaz told NBC 6.
Perez, the mother of a 3-year-old, was admitted to Mercy Hospital following her procedure, and the family's lawyer says her prognosis is not good.
Attorney Mark Eiglarsh said that finding out what happened to the young mother will require litigation.
"The family is demanding answers to many questions, including, but not limited to, 'How does an 18-year-old healthy young lady go in to have a simple routine cosmetic procedure and come out in a vegetative state?'" he said.
The Florida Department of Health website shows Dr. Jacob Freiman, who performed the surgery, is a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Yet, court records show Dr. Mario Alberto Diaz, the anesthesiologist for the procedure, was on probation after serving time in federal prison for illegally dispensing at least 53,000 doses of pain pills over the internet. His license was suspended for a year following the arrest, but it has since been reinstated.
Neither Freiman or Diaz have commented on the situation.
Meanwhile, Perez's family fears the tracheotomy, which will require general anesthesia. They say her 3-year-old son does not yet know about his mother's condition.
Eiglarsh says his role now is to gather information about what went wrong. He says there is not currently a lawsuit against Coral Gables Cosmetic Center, which he calls a discount center. Perez paid only $2,800 on the procedure, roughly half of what these types of procedures typically cost, according to Eiglarsh.
The attorney also said the the family is not looking for a big payoff from the center, which does not have medical malpractice insurance, but a lawsuit is not out of the realm of possibility.
"This is about any person that may see this who may have a procedure tomorrow and may think, 'I want to pass on this clinic,'" Eiglarsh said. "Maybe save up a little bit of money to go with a place that's a little more reputable."