Chihuahua state inspectors order partial closure of Rinocenter in Juarez

EL PASO, Texas - Health inspectors in the state of Chihuahua ordered a partial closure of Rinocenter, the Juarez clinic where Laura Avila intended to have plastic surgery, but left with severe brain damage.

Avila, a Dallas woman raised in the El Paso area, traveled to Juarez for the procedure.

The El Diario de Juarez newspaper reports the operating room at Rinocenter is closed because inspectors found some irregularities, though they would not give details because the investigation is ongoing.

The clinic has two weeks to address the issues. If fixed, the suspension will be lifted. It is unclear if this investigation is separate from the one looking into medical negligence.

Avila, 36, booked the procedure for 7 a.m. at a plastic surgery facility on October 30, 2018 according to her sister Angie Avila.  Angie said that at about 8 a.m., Laura was told some of the surgeons flying in from Guadalajara were running late and the surgery was pushed until Noon. 

Enrique Cruz, Laura's fiance, said he was told the procedure would take four hours, but when he returned around 4 p.m., he said he wasn't able to see Laura.  Cruz told ABC-7 that at about 9 p.m., the director of the medical facility told him Laura needed to be transferred to another hospital. 

Angie told ABC-7 the doctors in Mexico told her Laura had anesthesia injected into her spine, but instead of flowing through her body, the anesthesia went to her brain. Angie told ABC-7 the complications resulted in Laura suffering a heart attack and severe global brain damage.

After spending four days in a hospital in Juarez, Laura was transferred to University Medical Center in El Paso. 

"She's been in a bed. She hasn't moved," said Angie, "She's opened her eyes, and there have been small movements, but she has a glazed look in her eyes. Doctors don't believe she can see us. You know, she's physically here, but not mentally here."

Laura's family is trying to raise funds to transfer Laura to a medical facility closer to home in North Texas.

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