#NewYork woman Dies Following Low-Cost Plastic Surgery In Dominican Republic

Beverly Brignoni was a young New Yorker seeking a less expensive way to enhance her appearance and she did what many other people are now doing: travel to the Dominican Republic for cosmetic surgery.

It went horribly wrong. The 28-year-old died Feb. 20 from what the doctor told her family was a massive pulmonary embolism while getting a tummy tuck and liposuction at a clinic in the Dominican capital recommended by friends. Family members have serious questions about her death and want local authorities to investigate.”We want to know exactly what happened,” said Bernadette Lamboy, Brignoni’s godmother. “We want to know if there was negligence.”

The district attorney’s office for Santo Domingo says it has not yet begun an investigation because it has not received a formal complaint from Brignoni’s relatives. Family members say they plan to make one.

Shortly after Brignoni’s death, the Health Ministry inspected the Vista del Jardin Medical Center where she was treated and ordered the operating room temporarily closed, citing the presence of bacteria and violations of bio-sanitary regulations. The doctor who performed the procedure and the clinic have not responded to requests for comment.

Brignoni’s death is unusual, but it is not isolated. Concerns about the booming cosmetic surgery business in the Dominican Republic are enough of an issue that the State Department has posted a warning on its page for travel to that country, noting that in several cases U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued an alert March 7 after health authorities in the United States reported that at least 19 women in five states had developed serious mycobacterial wound infections over the previous 12 months following cosmetic procedures in the Dominican Republic such as liposuction, tummy tucks and breast implants.

There were no reported deaths in those cases, but treatment for these types of infections, which have been caused in the past by contaminated medical equipment, tend to involve long courses of antibiotics and can require new surgery to remove infected tissue and drain fluid, said Dr. Douglas Esposito, a CDC medical officer.

“Some of these patients end up going through one or more surgeries and various travels through the medical system,” Esposito said. “They take a long time typically to get better.”

The Dominican Republic, like countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica and Thailand, has promoted itself as a destination for medical tourism, so-called because people will often tack on a few days at a resort after undergoing surgery. The main allure is much lower costs along with the promise that conditions will be on par with what a patient would encounter at home.

In 2013, there were more than 1,000 cosmetic procedures performed in the Dominican Republic, 60 percent of them on foreigners, according to the country’s Plastic Surgery Society.

The Internet is flooded with advertisements and testimonials from people who say they have had successful procedures in the Dominican Republic, and an industry of “recovery houses” has sprung up to serve clients, along with promoters who canvass for clients in the United States. The price is often about a third of the cost in the United States.

Dr. Braun Graham, a plastic surgeon in Sarasota, Florida, says he done corrective surgery on people for what he says were inferior procedures abroad. He warns that even if a foreign doctor is talented, nurses and support staff may lack adequate training.

“Clearly, the cost savings is certainly not worth the increased risk of a fatal complication,” said Graham, past president for Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Brignoni was referred to the Vista del Jardin Medical Center by several acquaintances in the New York borough of The Bronx where she lived, said Lamboy and Lenny Ulloa, the father of the 4-year-old daughter she left behind.

“Supposedly, it was a high-end clinic, one of the best in the city,” Ulloa said.

The doctor who performed Brignoni’s procedure, Guillermo Lorenzo, is certified by the Plastic Surgery Society, but there are at least 300 surgeons performing cosmetic procedures who are not, said Dr. Severo Mercedes, the organization’s director. He said the government knows about the problem but has not taken any action. “We complain but we can’t go after anyone because we’re not law enforcement,” Mercedes said.

The number of people pursuing treatment in the Dominican Republic doesn’t seem to have been affected by negative reports, including a previous CDC warning about a cluster of 12 infections in 2003-04.

In one recent case, the Dominican government in February closed a widely advertised clinic known as “Efecto Brush,” for operating without a license. Prosecutors opened a criminal case after at least six women accused the clinic of fraud and negligence. The director, Franklin Polanco, is free while awaiting trial. He denies wrongdoing.

There was also the case of Dr. Hector Cabral. New York prosecutors accused him of conducting examinations of women in health spas and beauty parlors in that state in 2006-09 without a license, then operating on them in the Dominican Republic, leaving some disfigured. Cabral pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized practice of medicine in October 2011 and returned to the Dominican Republic, where he still practices.

In 2009, Dominican authorities charged Dr. Johan Tapia Bueno with illegally practicing plastic surgery at his apartment after several women, including a local television personality, accused him of malpractice that left them with infections. Awaiting trial, he has pleaded innocent to charges that include fraud.

Juan Linares, a lawyer hired by Brignoni’s boyfriend, said he is still awaiting an autopsy report.

Because she arrived in the country late at night on a delayed flight and was on the operating table early the next morning, a main concern is whether she received an adequate medical evaluation before the procedure. Graham, the Florida surgeon, said sitting on a plane for several hours can cause blood to stagnate in the legs and increase the risk of an embolism.

Brignoni paid the Dominican clinic $6,300 for a combination of liposuction, tummy tuck and breast surgery. Lamboy said she had decided not to have the work done on her breasts and was expecting a partial refund. The woman, who worked as a property manager, had lost about 80 pounds about a year earlier after gastric bypass surgery.

Brignoni was clearly excited about the procedure. Her final post on Facebook was a photo she took of her hands holding her passport and boarding pass for the flight from New York to Santo Domingo.

“She wanted it so bad,” her godmother said. “It felt like she was going to have a better outlook on life, getting this done.”

Courtesy of HuffPost
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Job Seeker Sends Out #Resume, Attaches Photo Of #Penis

If you want a get a job, you’ve got to stop d**king around.

Texas Workforce Solutions in Dallas received a job application by email Friday morning from a man who also attached a picture of a penis, Dallas Police spokeswoman Demarquis Black told the Dallas Observer.

The agency purportedly offers “resources, tips and tools to build a stronger Texas workforce,” and connects job seekers with potential employers. In this case though, the 25-year-old employee who received the phallic photo just connected the applicant with the police.

It’s not yet clear whether the applicant sent the photo intentionally or not, but either way, Black told the Observer, “I think I know why he can’t find a job.”

The man was charged with obscene display or distribution, a misdemeanor.

What’s worse, a dick pic or Nicolas Cage? Last year, a girl named Vanessa submitted a job application for an administrative assistant, but instead of a copy of her resume, accidentally attached a wild-eyed picture of the “National Treasure” star.

Courtesy of HuffPost
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“Harry Potter” spinoff to be made into a #Trilogy

In a New York Times interview with Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, the paper reported that J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is slated for “three megamovies.”

That is when Warner announced that Ms. Rowling had agreed to adapt for the big screen her “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a 2001 book billed as one of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbooks. Three megamovies are planned. The main character will be a “magizoologist” named Newt Scamander. The stories, neither prequels or sequels, will start in New York about seven decades before the arrival of Mr. Potter and his pals.

It is thanks to Tsujihara that the “Harry Potter” world is making its return to theaters, convincing the author to bring her 54-page exploration of the creatures that inhabit the wizarding world to new life.

“When I say he made ‘Fantastic Beasts’ happen, it isn’t P.R.-speak but the literal truth,” Rowling said of Tsujihara. “We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call, and then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!”

Courtesy of HuffPost
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There’s a new Michael Jackson album titled #XSCAPE coming in May

Music fans will get to hear new Michael Jackson music in May, nearly five years after the singer’s death in 2009. Titled “XSCAPE,” the record will arrive on May 13 via Epic Records and in conjunction with Jackson’s estate.

From the Epic Records website:

After mining by the Estate of Jackson’s archives, L.A. Reid was granted unlimited access to the treasures spanning four decades of material on which Jackson had completed his vocals. Reid then teamed up top producers to “contemporize” the songs while retaining Jackson’s essence and integrity, creating the best music you’ve never heard. The list of producers include global hitmakers Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate and John McClain.
According to a press release, “XSCAPE” will feature eight new songs, including the album’s title track.

“Michael was always on the cutting edge and was constantly reaching out to new producers, looking for new sounds,” John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, said in the release. “He was always relevant and current. These tracks, in many ways, capture that spirit. We thank L.A. Reid for his vision.”

That there’s new Jackson music coming is of little surprise. All the way back in 2010, Jenkins revealed that he was working on “unreleased Michael Jackson” songs. In August of 2013, Timbaland revealed he was working on a Jackson song, apparently called “Chicago.” Then in March of this year, Timbaland released a snippet of another Jackson song, this one named “Slave to the Rhythm.”

Courtesy of HuffPost
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#Gay man gang-raped by five men

Kimberley – A 20-year-old gay man was gang-raped and his mattress burned in Roodepan near Kimberley, Northern Cape South Africa police said on Monday.

He was raped in the early hours of Sunday at a house in Lerato Park, Lieutenant Sergio Kock said.

Asked if this had been a homophobic attack, Kock said: “We cannot confirm if it was a homophobic attack or not, that we can’t say really.”

Five men allegedly forced their way into the house where the man was with his boyfriend. The boyfriend managed to escape. The men allegedly took turns raping him.

“It is further alleged that the suspects set alight a mattress inside the house and later fled the scene.”

No one had been arrested. The family violence, child protection and sexual offences units were investigating.

Courtesy of http://www.m.iol.co.za
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Woman Spends $25,000 On Plastic Surgery To Look Like #Hollywood Actress Jennifer Lawrence

Most of America would pick Jennifer Lawrence as their ideal BFF, but one Texas woman took her devotion to the next level. In an effort to more closely resemble the Academy Award Winner, 30-year-old Kitty underwent extensive plastic surgery, spending over $25,000 on six total procedures.

ABC News reported on the story of the dog trainer and mother of a five-year-old, who attributed her child as the reason she had chosen to be carved into Lawrence’s likeness. “The reason why I decided to get surgery is because post having my daughter, I wasn’t quite as comfortable with my body,” she explained.

At First Surgical Hospital in Houston, Texas, Kitty elected for a six hour procedure, including breast augmentation, liposuction to areas of her face and body, rhinoplasty, as well as fat grafts to plump her cheeks and behind.

Kitty’s husband Eric was not convinced she should go through with the procedures. “Jennifer Lawrence isn’t a celebrity that I have particularly strong feelings about one way or another,” he said. “It’s totally her choice.”

As for funding the operations, Kitty noted that she “saved from a previous job … so it was sort of a ‘me fund,'” adding that she still had plenty of time to contribute to her daughter’s college fund. She also received a discount for sharing her story on TV.

According to Kitty’s doctor, attempting to resemble celebrities is not a particularly strange request. “Patients come in wanting to have lips like Angelina Jolie, breasts like Scarlett Johansson, Megan Fox,” he said.

Kitty’s story also follows the news of Toby Sheldon, the 33-year-old who spent $100,000 to look more like Justin Bieber back in October of 2013.

After several weeks of healing, Kitty dressed up for her big reveal. “Of course I look like Jennifer Lawrence,” she said. “I thought I had a resemblance to Jennifer Lawrence before my surgery and now I think after, my features are more refined to where they resemble her more.”

Courtesy of HuffPost
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A #Deadly #Virus Called #Ebola Spreads Into #Liberia and possibly Sierra Leone

Two cases of the deadly Ebola fever virus were confirmed in Liberia on Sunday, marking the first confirmed spread of the virus outside of Guinea’s borders since the outbreak in February, reported the BBC on Monday.

According to the report, two Liberian sisters contracted the virus after one had recently returned from visiting her husband in neighbouring Guinea.

On Saturday, the Senegalese government decided to close its border with Guinea after it was confirmed the virus had spread from the country’s rural areas into its capital, Conakry, on Friday.

“When it used to be only in the south of Guinea, we didn’t do anything special. But now that it’s reached Conakry, we believe it’s safer to close our borders,” Senegal’s health minister, Awa Marie Coll-Seck, was quoted as saying.

“We have also closed all weekly markets, known as luma, in the south. And we’re having some discussions with religious leaders regarding big religious events,” she added.

There are also unconfirmed cases of the haemorrhagic fever in Sierra Leone, another neighbouring country.

This is the first time the disease has been reported in West Africa. According to the BBC, the first case was documented in February and there have so far been 78 confirmed Ebola related fatalities in Guinea.

Even though the virus was first discovered in 1976, there is still no known vaccine to combat the disease. So far only those living in rural communities with poorly functioning health facilities have been seriously affected by the disease.

Ebola is spread by close contact and kills between 25% and 90% of victims.

Courtesy of S.A Breaking News
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