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Teen's Breast-Implant Surgery Went Terribly Wrong: Parents

Emmalyn Nguyen's parents sue the doctor and anesthetist
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2019 2:30 PM CST

(Newser) – The parents of a Colorado teen are suing her plastic surgeon after her breast-enhancement surgery went horribly wrong, NBC News reports. Emmalyn Nguyen, 18, suffered cardiac arrest and was severely brain-damaged during the August procedure, the family says. They blame the doctor, Geoffrey Kim, and anesthetist, Rex Meeker, who allegedly left Emmalyn "unobserved" for 15 minutes after applying anesthesia, which the parents say goes against proper practice. They also accuse the pair of waiting five hours to call 911 from their plastic-surgery clinic in Greenwood Village even though she had turned blue, needed CPR, was "neurologically unresponsive," and likely had brain damage.

"She still has some awareness of her environment," says the family's attorney, David Woodruff. "She will cry when she hears her mother’s voice; she responds to pain stimuli. But otherwise she can't communicate at all. ... She basically just lays there." People reports that Kim won't comment, and Meeker's lawyer says "complications in Ms. Nguyen's surgery were not related to inappropriate care on his behalf." Back in 2009, Meeker was sued in a similar brain-damage case that was settled confidentially, per KDVR. Now, it's the Nguyens' turn: "We thought it was going to be easier everyday but it [isn't]," says the mother, Lynn Pham. "It's really hard to see her this way. I feel like she [has] no future left." She says Emmalyn saved $6,000 for the procedure to boost her self-image. (Read more plastic surgery stories.)

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