A 19-year-old beauty queen and aspiring doctor died in Ecuador due to complications from a botched liposuction surgery – a medical procedure that she at first didn’t want.
Catherine Cando, a part-time glamour model and the winner of the Queen of Durán beauty contest in Ecuador, had initially declined the surgery – part of the prize for winning the pageant – because she believed she could lose the supposed excess weight through exercise. But the judges insisted she needed the surgery.
"Before having the surgery, she received a lot of calls from the surgeon trying to persuade her to do it, but she kept saying no," her brother Daniel Zavela told local media. "She was thinking about letting someone else have it as a freebie but eventually she agreed to have it just to get him off her back."
The surgery, however, didn’t go as planned and her family’s lawyer said that he is trying to figure the exact cause of the 19-year old beauty's death.
"I was told she had died of a brain oedema (swelling of the brain)," lawyer Carlos Reyes Izquierdo said. "But the clinic staff told her relatives that she had died of a cardiac arrest. I have ordered cytological and pathological examinations to find out what exactly happened."
"However, it can be presumed as negligence because there has been no support from doctors who have failed to explain anything about the case." Reyes Izquierdo added.
The doctors who performed the lethal operation have been arrested after it was feared that they would flee the country to avoid any charges brought against them.
Cando’s death is only the latest in a series of plastic surgery nightmares throughout Latin America.
In 2011, Brazilian model Pamela Nascimento, 27, died of hypovolemic shock during a botched liposuction surgery and more recently a model in Brazil’s Miss BumBum competition, Andressa Urach, was left in intensive care after undergoing plastic surgery to boost the size of her thighs and an infection set in her wounds.