The silver medalist in one of Brazil’s leading beauty pageants died after getting injections to remove laugh lines.
Model Raquel Santos, 28, from Sao Goncalo, Rio de Janeiro, had a heart attack after having fillers injected in her face on Jan. 11, and authorities are now investigating her death.
Friends of Santos told how she was frightened of dying during plastic surgery, but was a “slave to vanity” who endured “every procedure imaginable.”
The mother of two boys aged 7 and 12 was a front-runner in the renowned Musa do Brasil competition in December. Authorities are now investigating whether her daily use of an illegal horse drug, which she injected before workouts as a performance enhancer, might have factored into her death, according to Daily Mail.
The Potenay drug, which contains mefentermine, a cardio-respiratory stimulant, is often used in Brazil by bodybuilders for muscle gain, but also raises blood pressure.
On Jan. 12 law enforcement raided Santos’ funeral and took her body away for more tests after allegations the model's death certificate had been incorrectly completed.
Santos' best friend, Debora Azevedo, told Brazil’s G1 website that the model was obsessed with plastic surgery.
“She was very concerned about her looks. She would go off and have procedures without telling her friends so we wouldn't fight with her," she said.
“She was terrified of dying during surgery. But she did it anyway, that was how much she was obsessed with looking good. And she did every aesthetic procedure imaginable, from artificial tans to lymphatic drainage. She was so vain. She worked out religiously, she was as addicted to working out as she was to plastic surgery.”
Gilberto Azevedo, her boyfriend, said her quest for beauty was pointless and risky.
“She was fascinated by it all, carnival, working out and she always wanted more," he said. “I thought that she, ugly or beautiful, was fine as she was. But she always wanted more, unnecessarily. She smoked a lot and injected Potenay before going to the gym. She was a very happy person, friendly and full of dreams. All she ever wanted to do was become a model.”
The plastic surgeon who did the procedure on Santos, Wagner Moraes, insists the procedure wasn't the cause of her death.
“It was a simple procedure which lasted two minutes. The big problem is that she was already suffering health complications, applying Potenay to her body every day, including on the day of the surgery,” the Moraes said.