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Female doctor arranging surgical equipment

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Earlier this week (April 26) news broke surrounding the death of 38-year-old Keuana Weaver — a woman who’d passed away back in January after getting plastic surgery done in Tijuana, Mexico. Shockingly, two other women who got plastic surgery on that same day in the same clinic were hospitalized after their procedures, and now Weaver’s mother is speaking out.

Originally reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune, Keuana’s mother, 58-year-old Renee Weaver, told the outlet, “I’m heartbroken [over her death]. I want to know what happened.” As the publication shared, Keuana had told her family she was considering getting “work done” and that she was going to Florida to get a tummy tuck. According to the source, Renee said it wasn’t until a family member called her and let her know Keuana “had died on the operating table at a cosmetic surgery clinic south of the border” that she began to learn some of the grave truth about what happened to her daughter.

Keuana’s friend, Kanisha Davis, told the outlet that she and Keuana had scheduled liposuction and tummy tucks on the same day — both to be performed by Dr. Jesús Manuel Báez López at Tijuana’s Art Siluette Aesthetic Surgery clinic. Keuana’s family says she died on Jan. 29 — the day of her surgery — and that her cause of death was stated as “‘secondary hypoxic encephalopathy,’ which refers to damage to the central nervous system by inadequate oxygen and blood supply.” Frighteningly, Davis, who is a nurse, suffered “internal bleeding and projectile vomiting” once she returned back to California after her own procedure and learning of her friend’s death. After “eventually requiring an ambulance ride to the ER,” The San Diego Union-Tribue said Davis was hospitalized there for two weeks and was told she was “hemorrhaging inside and had a hematoma.” Davis told the outlet she even suffered from acute retinal failure.

“Did we know we were taking a risk being in Mexico? Yes,” she said candidly to the outlet before adding, “But did we ever, at any time, think that risk would be death? No.”

Appallingly, The San Diego Union-Tribue additionally reported that a woman named Esmeralda Iniguez — who didn’t know Keuana and Davis previously but also had a plastic surgery procedure on that fateful January day at the Tijuana clinic — told them that just days after her operation she’d been rushed back over the border to an emergency room in America because she was “nearly dying from septic shock.” Sadly, Iniguez has been suffering from long-term health consequences since the operation and “has been in and out of the hospital with kidney failure since February.”

According to the article, both she and Davis have joined a Facebook group now with over 600 members called, “BotchedbyBáez.”

Recalling the type of person her daughter was and their family’s loss, Renee said Keuana — a Long Beach, California resident, and mother of two — “was a very independent woman; a good, loving, smart, and very intelligent Black woman. That doctor took a lot from me and my family and I most definitely have to have her story out there.” Poignantly, she heartbreakingly added, “I’m mostly sad this happened to my daughter because she was already so beautiful to me, inside and out, she just couldn’t see it.”

According to PEOPLE, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning in 2019 regarding the health dangers related to undergoing plastic surgery in Mexico, which can be cheaper than in the United States.” Keep in mind, other countries in Europe and the Caribbean are destination sites for people seeking cheaper cosmetic surgeries as well. That same year, we reported on another unfortunate story about a woman who had lost her life after traveling to the Dominican Republic to get plastic surgery done despite her family’s wishes.

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