Irma Saenz spent her time caring for her 99-year-old mother and enjoyed finding time to keep up with her looks, which led her to take a trip to Mexico for a secret surgery.

The 51-year-old woman from Los Angeles didn’t tell her family she was leaving the country to go to Tijuana for liposuction surgery, according to CBS Los Angeles.


The family found out when they got a terrifying phone call telling them she was in a coma after suffering from complications while having the liposuction done.

Saenz’s sister, Carmen Quintana, described seeing her sister clinging to life in a Mexican hospital:

“It was very hard especially because you didn’t recognize her because her face was very swollen and the only way to tell it was her was by the feet.”

The woman they knew and loved who put taking care of her mother before her needs didn’t even look like herself as she lay in a hospital bed fighting to stay alive.

Saenz’s niece, Nora, said:

“It’s sad. The one time she did something for herself she paid a high price.”

The GoFundMe page established for Saenz described the heartbreaking condition she was in when her family brought her back home to the U.S.:

The doctors told us that she was not receiving oxygen to the brain that’s why she went into the coma and and was in a vegetation stage which means she is brain dead from the lack of oxygen.

She died in a San Diego hospital from surgery complications after returning in a coma from the cosmetic surgery.

Screenshot/CBS Los Angeles

Saenz’s niece understands why people opt for plastic surgery and believes the lower cost was what drew her aunt to Mexico:

“You see a lot of people getting their bodies redone. Mommy makeovers, what have you. And people that don’t have the financial backing are looking for a way of getting it done at a cheaper cost and I think that’s what my aunt did.”

Now her family is pleading with others to be aware of the deadly risk they are taking.

Carmen wants to make sure others know that putting the amount of money saved on cheap surgery ahead of one’s own life has major consequences:

“It’s not worth it. It wasn’t worth it for my sister.”

Watch the heartbroken family warn others about the dangers of going to another country for surgery.

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