Plastic surgeon guilty of manslaughter after teen died during botched boob job

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    A plastic surgeon has been found guilty of attempted manslaughter after his patient went into cardiac arrest during breast enhancement surgery.

    Emmalyn Nguyen, who was 19 at the time, was booked into the Colorado Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery clinic in August 2019.

    Dr. Geoffrey Kim was set to carry out the procedure, while anaesthesia was administered by nurse anaesthetist Rex Meeker.

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    But 15 minutes into the operation, Emmalyn was found to be unconscious. Panicked staff attempted to administer CPR, but Kim barred them from calling 911 for over five hours.

    Lawyer David Woodruff, acting for the Nguyen family, told KDVR: “They leave her on the operating table for five and a half hours and don’t call 911 for five and a half hours while Emmalyn’s mother sits in the waiting room unaware of what’s happening”.

    While Emmalyn was eventually resuscitated, she suffered severe, irreversible brain damage. She spent the next 14 months in a coma, requiring 24-hour round-the-clock care.

    She eventually died in October 2020.

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    A lengthy investigation into the cause of Emmalyn’s death implicated both Kim and anaesthetist Meeker. But after Meeker agreed to give up his licence to practice and testify against Kim, the charges against him were dropped.

    Prosecutor Travis Stewart said: “We opened this criminal case in August 2019. The investigation has taken more than two years to complete and involved dozens of interviews and search warrants.

    "Our hope is that this will be the beginning of bringing justice and a sense of closure to Emmalyn’s family.“

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    Kim surrendered himself voluntarily to police in February 2022. He was initially charged with felony first-degree aggravated assault and felony criminally negligent homicide, according to a statement.

    Dr Kim, 54, was found guilty by an Arapahoe County jury of obstructing telephone services as well as the manslaughter charge, but was acquitted of the more serious charges, including manslaughter and negligent homicide, according to news outlet KDVR.

    Kim is set to be sentenced on September 8 and could face up to three years in jail.

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    • Crime
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