Officials announced that a Colorado surgeon and a nurse who performed a botched operation in 2019 that resulted in the death of teen patient Emmalyn Nguyen were charged.
Nguyen was 18 when he went to Colorado Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery on Aug. 1, 2019, for a breast augmentation. However, Nguyen suffered cardiac arrest after receiving anesthesia.
After the surgery-gone-wrong she fell into a coma, leaving her in a vegetative condition, according to her family in a 2019 lawsuit.
In October 2020, she died approximately 14 months after the procedure.
Wednesday The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office reported that Dr. Geoffrey Kim (52), was arrested in Nguyen's murder, "after a long criminal investigation."
He was charged with criminally negligent and first-degree aggravated homicide.
He surrendered to authorities Wednesday morning with his attorney. After being booked, he was released on bond.
Rex Meeker is also facing charges of manslaughter as a nurse anesthetist. A warrant was issued for his arrest.
"We opened this criminal investigation in August 2019. It took more than two years for the investigation to be completed and involved many interviews and search warrants. We hope that this will bring closure to Emmalyn's families and justice," Travis Stewart, Captain, Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office said.
David Woodruff, an attorney representing the Nguyen families, stated NBC affiliate KUSA in Denver, Colorado that "I think the family feels mixed about this."
He said, "Obviously they are overwhelmed happy that Emmalyn will get justice, but at the exact same time, it brings up all of the ordeal all over again, and it kinda has reawakened their trauma," he added.
Woodruff stated that "At the end, I think they are glad to see it happening, and it is encouraging that the legal systems is pursuing this."
Kim and Meeker are accused of leaving Nguyen "unobserved” for 15 minutes after anesthesia was administered to her. This, according to a negligence lawsuit filed by Nguyen’s parents in 2019.
According to the lawsuit, something went wrong during the anesthesia. She was found with her lips turned blue and discoloration all over her body.
According to the lawsuit, Nguyen had two instances of cardiac arrest and had to be revived. According to the suit, doctors waited five hours before calling 911.
Nguyen, who suffered a brain injury, was left "in a permanent "semiconscious state" and needed round-the-clock care. She also required a permanent feeding tube before she died.