A New York mother died from complications that occurred after she received multiple plastic surgeries in the Dominican Republic.
Bronx resident Janelle Edwards, 25, visited Santo Domingo for medical tourism. While there, she had a breast enhancement, tummy tuck and butt implants, according to her sister, Samantha Edwards. Samantha believes the procedures caused her sister's death, the New York Daily News reports.
Janelle was found unconscious in her car by her parents at 8:10 p.m. on June 8. She was slumped behind the wheel.
Thirty minutes later, Janelle died at a nearby hospital.
“We found her in the car unresponsive,” her mother Marjorie Edwards, 57, told the New York Daily News. “We don’t know what happened.”
When asked about her daughter's surgeries, Marjorie would not comment. “I can only say kind words about her,” she said. “That's all anyone can say about her.”
When Janelle returned home in early May, she was wrapped in bandages and had an IV on a stand, her neighbor, Elia Mayo, said, adding that "she was in a lot of pain."
After Janelle's initial autopsy came back inconclusive, additional tests were done. Police sources said that a doctor told detectives that Janelle died from a blood clot that formed after her surgeries.
When Janelle returned from the Dominican Republic, she complained of stomach and breast pain, family members told detectives.
Samantha does not think the family has any legal recourse with the foreign facility that performed Janelle's surgeries, and possibly caused her death.
“She was a very loving person,” Samantha said. “That's how I want to remember my sister. She lived her life and God took her early.”
On the day Janelle died, she did not show signs of distress.
"Busy, busy, busy," she wrote on Facebook around three hours before she died. "I must sleep good tonight."
Janelle leaves behind two daughters, aged 7 and 1.
Having cosmetic surgery performed in the Dominican Republic is common, and as such the U.S. Department of State cautions on its website the potential risks involved.
"U.S. citizens should be aware of the risks associated with cosmetic surgery in the Dominican Republic. The Embassy is aware of U.S. citizens who suffered serious complications or died during or after having cosmetic surgery," the notice reads.
The State Department recommends that anyone considering having cosmetic procedures done in the Dominican Republic take "special care ... to verify the credentials and qualifications of any plastic surgeon."