A West Virginia mother’s cosmetic surgery went terribly wrong and cost her more than just money.
Heather Meadows traveled to Florida to undergo cosmetic surgery on May 12 and soon began to suffer “medical complications,” the Miami Herald reported. The 29-year-old was rushed to the hospital where she died.
Meadows had the procedure at Encore Plastic Surgery, which remained opened hours after her death. As word spread, however, customers began to cancel their own procedures.
“I’m not having surgery here,” one woman, Antoinette, said, WSVN reported. “Are you kidding me? This is a chop shop."
Antoinette told the station the center called her the morning of Meadows’ death and told her to come in despite the incident.
“They were calling me this morning to come in earlier to have surgery when they knew this happened, so that’s why I’m angry, and I should be,” she said.
She was ultimately refunded her $4,000 payment. Another woman said she witnessed Meadows being taken from the center to the hospital.
Meadows’ friend Jacqueline Meadows (no relation) praised her friend in an interview with WSVN.
“She was a wonderful person, she was funny and fun to work with,” she said. “She was a good mom.”
Meadows’ sister, Lea Duff, took to Facebook to mourn her sibling: “I will always cherish the memories that we have ... u will always and forever be in my heart. I promise to take care of your babies! I never thought this day would come. It's not supposed to happen this way.
Since Meadows’ death, Encore has been in the spotlight for its questionable record.
A doctor affiliated with the center was accused of malpractice after reportedly injuring four patients in 2015. Dr. Osakatukei Omulepu received the Florida Surgeon General order of emergency restriction after being accused of botching several medical procedures at Encore. Those botched procedures resulted in hospitalizations from three days to three months, according to WPLG.
“The extreme number of violations that occurred within this two-day period, which resulted in significant and lasting patient harm” suggested that Omulepu “will cause significant harm to his patients,” the order read, Local 10 reported.
In 2013, a 51-year-old woman died after having buttocks augmentation at Vanity Cosmetic Surgery, a center that is affiliated with Encore, according to the Miami Herald.