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Woman on life support after nose job surgery now in hospice, family says

Laura Avila, 36, went into cardiac arrest after she was given anesthesia at a Mexico clinic. She never woke up.

A Dallas woman who's been on life support since undergoing plastic surgery on her nose at a clinic in Mexico has been moved to hospice care, her family attorney said in a statement to WFAA on Saturday.

Laura Avila, 36, has remained in a coma since the Oct. 30 procedure at the Rhino Clinic in Juarez, Mexico. She went into cardiac arrest after doctors there gave her anesthesia, and she never woke up.

She was transferred to a hospital in El Paso, where doctors said she was brain dead. Her family has fought to have her transferred to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, but Parkland declined to take her.

In the statement on Saturday, Avila's family attorney Larry Friedman said Avila was moved to hospice late Friday night "based on the recommendation of Laura's physicians.

"Laura is now resting in peace and her fate is in the hands of God," Friedman said. "The family thanks everyone for keeping Laura in their prayers and all of their continued love and support."

The center where Laura Avila went for a nose job is not accredited by the main international agencies that certify hospitals and surgery centers.

Avila went to Mexico with her fiance for plastic surgery, because the procedure was cheaper.

“The price of course compared to those in U.S. was less than a third,” said Angie Avila, her sister.

They went to a plastic surgery center around noon on Oct. 30. Her fiancé, Enrique Cruz, said an employee administered anesthesia but something went wrong.

"I was kind of getting upset and worried because they would not let me see her or anything,” Cruz said.

For eight hours, she lay in a room. Her fiance was told only that her blood pressure had dropped and they couldn't perform the operation.

"They injected anesthesia in her spine at the clinic and instead of flowing down her body, it went into her brain which caused severe swelling," Angie Avila said.

Finally, a doctor from the Juarez hospital was called to the clinic.

Cruz said he immediately wanted her moved to the hospital.

"That's when they told us oh by the way she had a cardiac arrest,” Cruz said.

Laura Avila spent four days in a Mexican hospital. Her family fought to move her to a hospital in the U.S., but hospital officials in Mexico refused to sign transfer papers until they paid the bill.

"The hospital basically held us hostage because we wouldn't pay the full amount,” Angie Avila said.

They were finally able to get her taken by ambulance to a hospital in El Paso, but without the critical medical records they needed.

Within hours, doctors there shared the grim news.

"They say she suffered severe brain damage so much so that she will never be our Laura again,” Angie Avila said.