CORAL GABLES (CBS4) — Eighteen year-old Linda Perez went to the Coral Gables Cosmetic Center Monday for a breast augmentation. Within hours the striking young woman was unconscious with brain damage in Mercy Hospital’s intensive care unit.
The Coral Gables Cosmetic Center where her breast surgery was performed is not in the Gables. It is in a mustard colored building on 27th Ave. in Miami housing law and other offices, and just below the sign for the plastic surgery center, a pet grooming salon.
Linda Perez’s surgery was performed by Dr. Jacob Freiman. The anesthesiologist was Dr. Mario Alberto Diaz.
CBS4 News partner El Nuevo Herald reports that during Diaz’s procedure, her heart stopped and doctors at Mercy told family members she was essentially dead when she reached their emergency room.
“We are hurting for our daughter,” Fernando Izquierdo told CBS4’s Gary Nelson. “We’re going through a terrible time. It’s very sad.”
The father said he does not know what happened to his daughter.
“The clinic where she had the surgery, they won’t give us any information,” the father said.
The cosmetic center’s website boasts reasonable rates for breast augmentation, tummy tucks and the “Brazilian Butt Lift.”
Surgeon Jacob Freiman has no record of any complaints or discipline.
The anesthesiologist Mario Diaz, however, has not just a checkered, but criminal past.
CBS4 News has learned that in 2006, he was sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison. Documents obtained from state medical regulators and federal courts reveal Diaz illegally dispensed some 70,000 doses of controlled substances “for no legitimate medical purpose.”
Diaz did prison time and had his Florida medical license suspended for six months.
At Mercy Hospital Linda Perez’s family was assessing no blame as they maintained a vigil for their stricken daughter.
“Hopefully, God will save her,” her mother, Mariela Diaz said. “We are grateful for all the prayers. My daughter is a very beautiful, very loving girl.”
Drs. Diaz and Freiman did not return calls seeking comment.
Kubs Lalchandani, an attorney for Coral Gables Cosmetic Center issued a statement saying the facility “is committed to upholding the highest standards of medical care and patient safety.”
“For privacy reasons,” the statement said, the center “cannot comment on any medical issues related to…patients.”
Attorney Julia Ingle, who represents Dr. Jacob Freiman, issued a statement on Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 that reads: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Ms. Perez during this difficult time. We are unable to comment on any medical care provided to Ms. Perez because of patient privacy laws.”