Alleged victim of botched lipo surgery remains in coma - Tucson News Now

Alleged victim of botched lipo surgery remains in coma

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - There was emotional testimony in court on Thursday by victims of a Tucson couple accused of performing plastic surgery procedures without a license.

Gustavo Nunez and his girlfriend Ilda Garcia appeared in court today to answer to the charges. 

Court documents state Nunez was performing liposuction and other procedures inside his home on North Bobby Jones Drive, in a gated community near the Omni Resort.

Detectives charged Garcia in the case.

Tucson News Now has obtained court documents that indicate Nunez is also under investigation by the DEA.  Several victims are listed in that case. Court documents state Nunez met some of the victims at a medical spa where he worked and offered to perform plastic surgery procedures for them.

Several of the victims told detectives they got liposuction and fat transfer procedures done by Nunez, and had to go to the hospital, after getting major infections.

Court documents state Nunez was performing those surgeries in a warehouse located on 15th Avenue, near Speedway and I-10. 

Debbie Brown and her husband who co-own that warehouse allowed Tucson News Now cameras inside the facility today, and showed the two rooms used by the suspects.  Both were set up like doctor's offices.  One room had a desk and markings on the wall.  Court documents state detectives found many certificates hanging on those walls, but they have checked the state records and said Nunez has no medical license and is not certified or trained to perform plastic surgery.

Brown said they had known Nunez for a long time, and he had appeared to be a very charming guy who seemed trustworthy. 

Brown was in court for the hearing, and said she got teary eyed when she saw the husband of a victim who is now in the hospital, in a coma.

"I looked over at the husband. You can see his heart is breaking. You can tell he is losing the love of his life," said Brown.

Brown said they had no idea Nunez and his accomplices were performing surgical procedures in the warehouse. They believed he sold medical equipment.  Brown says the victims testified that they showed up after hours or on the weekend for their surgeries.

"One of the victims who spoke in court today, she said she felt the entire procedure.  She was awake the whole time and screaming, stop, stop, stop, stop," said Brown.

Brown said both Nunez and Garcia appeared in court in orange jumpsuits and handcuffs. 

"They were smirking," said Brown.

Court documents state a 41-year-old victim who went to Nunez for a liposuction procedure was not doing too well.  She had been in a coma since he dropped her off at the emergency room more than three weeks ago.

According to the search warrant, detectives said Nunez told hospital staff the woman had a headache so he gave her Tylenol, then she had a seizure.

The woman's relative later told detectives she had dropped the victim off at Nunez's home for the liposuction procedure.

Nunez and Garcia are both in the Pima County jail tonight. 

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