Mother Dies After Being Sent to Surgical Recovery Center Following Brazilian Butt Lift

A 32-year-old mother of two children who received cosmetic surgery died after she was sent to a Florida recovery home in August.

Rachelle Demosthenes and Jeanine Ellis traveled from New Jersey to Miami to receive procedures including Lip 360 and a Brazilian butt lift, WPLG-TV, a Miami-based television news station, first reported Monday.

The clinic where the two friends had their surgeries recommended that they stay at a recovery home, which would have medical staff, including a nurse, for the first 24 hours after the operation.

Demosthenes arrived at the recovery house on Southwest 31st Avenue near 2nd Street earlier that morning after receiving her surgery and called her friend, WPLG reported.

"She just started screaming and she just was telling me that she was in so much pain," Ellis recalled. "She said 'I'm in pain. but they just gave me two pills.'"

Ellis told WPLG that when they picked her up after the surgery, "they put you in the back of a van and they just lay some like, tarp or something down and you just swooped off to this recovery house."

When Ellis arrived at the house, she and Demosthenes decided to rest.

When Ellis woke up hours later, however, Demosthenes was screaming surrounded by people while she was reportedly going in and out of consciousness and bleeding.

"So as I'm looking at my friend, I just see all this blood," Ellis said.

Ellis said she told the woman who ran the home to call 911. She was assured that a nurse from the clinic would be arriving to administer an IV infusion.

"I said, 'No more. No nurse needs to come. 911 needs to come. You need to call now,'" Ellis recalled. "'You just want to let somebody sit there and die?' I could tell she didn't want to call 911."

Another woman at the home called paramedics, who took Demosthenes to the hospital. She died less than 24 hours following the surgery.

Miami Fire Rescue wrote in its report that Demosthenes was suffering from seizures and may have accidentally overdosed on pain medication.

Ellis remembered her friend as a "beautiful person."

"Rachelle was 32. She had two small children and that's the last thing she said to me," said Ellis. "She said, 'Tell my boys I love them.'"

When reached by Newsweek Tuesday morning, a spokesperson for the Miami Police Department confirmed the case remains under investigation.

Brazilian butt lift surgeries—which have risen in popularity in recent years—have come under scrutiny. In 2018, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimated that nearly 1 in every 3,000 people who get the surgery have died, making it "a rate of death far greater than any other cosmetic surgery."

The procedure has a long, intense recovery process. Patients are not allowed to lie on their backs or sit on their butts for at least three weeks following the surgery.

There have been several other cases of people who reportedly died after such a procedure, among them Instagram influencer Joselyn Cano in 2020.

Woman Dies Cosmetic Surgery Miami Unlicensed
A 32-year-old mother of two children who received cosmetic surgery died after she was sent to a Florida recovery home in August. Above, a doctor is seen in June 2014. Joe Raedle/Getty Images