(NewsNation) — Kimberly McCormick, a 65-year-old American woman, traveled to Mexico for cosmetic surgery but was left with a “disfigured” body and $75,000 in medical bills.
“I called my daughter bawling because I had woken up with huge breasts,” she said.
McCormick, who previously had a positive experience at the same medical facility six years ago, went back for a procedure to remove excess skin and undergo a breast lift after a remarkable 150-pound weight loss.
However, what was supposed to be a routine surgery turned into a medical nightmare. Instead of the agreed-upon procedures, McCormick woke up to find herself with unwanted breast implants and a Brazilian butt lift, a surgery known for its high mortality rate in the cosmetic surgery field.
In an interview on “NewsNation Prime,” McCormick said that a part of her lung had also collapsed during the procedure.
McCormick’s story is one example of a side effect of the medical tourism industry, which involves individuals traveling to foreign countries to receive medical care.
The industry had surpassed a value of $70 billion before the onset of the pandemic, with millions of patients allocating funds for expenses related to medical procedures, cross-border and local transportation, inpatient stays and accommodations, according to CNBC.
McCormick wanted to do the surgery in the U.S., but it cost more than $50,000. Whereas in Mexico, it was $13,000.
Her daughter, Misty Ann McCormick, who accompanied her on the trip, described the appalling conditions she found her mother in when finally allowed to see her.
Kimberly McCormick’s lips were blue, her fingertips were turning blue and the oxygen monitor was carelessly stored on a shelf. Her daughter said she took immediate action, reattaching the oxygen tube to stabilize her mother.
The situation escalated when her daughter tried to intervene and seek help. She alleged that she was physically assaulted, threatened, and expelled from the hospital by individuals wearing uniforms claiming to be members of the Tijuana police, brandishing machine guns.
“I was manhandled, beaten with machine guns, kicked in my ribs, kicked between my legs, thrown out of the hospital physically,” Misty Ann McCormick said. “I have a giant wound on the back of my head from getting hit with the butt of the machine gun.”
Kimberly McCormick revealed that she was later extorted for money, with a hospital representative warning her to pay or face imprisonment in a Mexican prison.
The McCormick family is now grappling with mounting medical bills and is seeking financial assistance through a GoFundMe page, as the estimated cost to rectify the botched surgery is at least $75,000.
The family’s distress continued upon their return to the United States, as the San Diego police reportedly dismissed their claims and advised them to contact the Tijuana police, the same individuals involved in the alleged assault.
“We were laughed at by the San Diego police who told me to call the Tijuana police,” Misty Ann McCormick said.