EL PASO, Texas - Family and friends of a woman who fell into a coma during a rhinoplasty procedure in Juarez held a vigil in her honor at San Jacinto Plaza on Wednesday evening.
A lone mariachi softly sang and played "Amor Eterno" on his guitar while dozens of people of all ages held candles in front of a makeshift altar bearing a photo of Avila amid more candles.
They have all known or been touched by Laura Avila, 36, a former El Paso woman who suffered serious complications while undergoing nose surgery in Juarez on Oct. 30.
One of her friends who organized the vigil spoke to the crowd, thanking them for their prayers and support.
"Typically, these vigils are done when someone leaves this earth," said Martin Mireles. "However, Laura is still physically and spiritually with us."
He paused to gather his composure, before adding, "This vigil is a celebration, and something to help her loved ones to keep fighting and praying for her."
They planned to sing, dance and even do some meditation, Mireles told the crowd, adding, "This is a way to help us remember her the way she would like."
ABC-7 reported that a Chihuahua state investigator confirmed that investigators searched Rinocenter, the facility where Laura sought the plastic surgery. Investigators looking into possible medical negligence seized medical records related to the case and said they expect to make a determination about what happened "in a few days."