A mum-of-two has shared her hell of battling with her mind and an infection she contracted during cheap cosmetic surgery in Mexico – an outbreak that has claimed the lives of seven Americans.
Alondra Lamos, 27, was diagnosed with fungal meningitis — a rare infection that causes deadly swelling over the brain and spinal cord — about three weeks after undergoing liposuction and a Brazilian butt lift (BBL) for 3. of its worth. yet. UNITED STATES.
Speaking to DailyMail.com from his hospital bed in Arizona, Ms Lamos said: “I was in pain from my head to my neck to my spine. I couldn’t walk, every step just hurt like hell. It was terrible.
Doctors believe she got the infection from unsterilized equipment used during the procedures or contaminated anesthetic drugs.
An outbreak linked to two clinics is feared to have infected hundreds and already killed seven American women, mostly new mothers, underscoring the dangers of so-called “medical tourism”.
Alondra Lamos, 27, was diagnosed with fungal meningitis — a rare infection that causes swelling in areas over the brain and spinal cord — after she became ill about three weeks after the plastic surgery procedure. She is pictured at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Arizona
Ms. Loma in April following a surgical procedure in Mexico
Ms. Loma booked an appointment in November with Clinica-K3, a beauty clinic in the northern border city of Matamoros that claimed to offer treatments “that improve body contours and provide natural and lasting results,” according to her Facebook webpage.
She had a $3,000 liposuction and BBL on March 13 — part of the more than $10,000 she would pay in the U.S. — and flew back to Phoenix, Arizona the next day.
The process went well, or so Ms. Lamos thought, and he or she was happy with his or her results. But she advised DailyMail.com: ’31. in March I felt this pain for the first time, which I had never felt in my life. I felt paralyzed.
In late April, she felt lethargic and had other symptoms.
She said: “I was always tired. I get headaches more often; my back hurts more often.
“Then one day I was just horrible. It knocked me over. I live in Arizona so it was hot and I was in a sweater and leggings and socks with chills and a fever.
“As soon as my husband got home, I thought, ‘I’m going to the hospital because something is wrong.’
Alondra Lomas in the hospital (left) and staples in his head after a surgical procedure (right)
Ms. Loma went to the Okay-3 clinic in Matamoros, Mexico
Mrs. Lamos with her son (7) and daughter (1), whose celebration she unfortunately missed in the hospital. Instead, they celebrated at the hospital
She first went to the hospital on May 5, almost a month after the surgical procedure, but doctors had a hard time diagnosing her.
Ms Loma said: “They tested my blood and said it had nothing to do with your operation. I think you are not right, go home.
She was eventually diagnosed with fungal meningitis and admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Arizona on May 7.
Meningitis is an irritation of the meninges or membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
The situation often occurs when a viral or bacterial infection spreads from some other part of the body to the mind or spinal cord.
But in rarer cases, fungus can be the culprit.
CDC welfare staff imagine the fungus to be Fusarium solani, which was associated with an earlier meningitis outbreak in Durango, Mexico late last 12 months.
Fusarium solani is a fairly common soil fungus and is fatal in more than half of cases. Infection can be acquired by direct inoculation or inhalation of spores.
Infection is uncommon. One review found 157 reports of fusarium wilt from 1970 to 2001.
Ms Lamos said she was looking forward to getting out of hospital to spend time with her youngsters
During the trip, she met Shyanna Medrano, who she called her “surgery nurse.” The pair underwent identical surgical procedures, but Ms. Medrano was transferred on May 16, 2023.
Mrs Lamos said: “We had the operation on the same day and we started texting and hanging out and it just broke my heart (to find out she had died).”
Their surgeon was Dr. Luis Manuel Rivera De Anda, who also operated on Lorraine Robinson, a Texas mother of four who died in May.
Ms. Lamos continues to take two antibiotics and needed to get an ommaya reservoir in her head, a small port under the pores and on top of the skin, to deliver drugs to the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
She said, “It’s on the right side behind my ear.” It is an instrument with a catheter attached to it. They drill a hole in my skull to insert a catheter and this system sends an antibiotic into my mind and pinpoints where the infection is.
Mrs. Lamos with her son. She advised DailyMail.com: “My son regularly asks me, ‘Are you leaving yet?’ are you coming home You should have been home yesterday”
Ms Loma had to undergo several epidurals to control the pressure in her spine
But she has a headache again.
Ms Loma said: “It was because I had an infection in my head caused by protein build-up. Protein and blood clogged the catheter.
Last week she underwent a second surgical procedure, a revision of her reservoir. Her first reservoir was empty, meaning the medicine wasn’t reaching her mind and spine.
She said: “When I went for the second overhaul they took everything out, cleaned it and put a new one in. This surgery was more difficult because it is (painful) I just opened it up and they opened it up again.
“But right now I’m feeling good and I’m hoping for the best.”
She added: “I still have a headache. The doctors told me I’ll have it for a while but it should subside.
Ms Lomas has been in hospital for more than two months and will undergo back surgery this week.
Her doctors believe the infection may have been a result of the epidural she received in Matamoros.
She said: “Doctors think something was not sterilized with the equipment or it was the anaesthetic.”
During her time in the hospital, she additionally suffered from infiltrating veins. This happens when an IV catheter passes or leaks out of a vein. The IV fluid then leaks into the surrounding tissue, causing pain and swelling.
Ms Loma has a seven-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter, whose birthday she missed while she was in hospital.
She said: “I get the question from my son all the time, ‘Are you leaving already?’ are you coming home You should have been home yesterday.”
She advised girls considering surgery: “I can’t be a hypocrite because I’ve had surgery myself, but be very careful. I know there are many risks and we never know what can happen to us. But if they can (go) directly to a certified surgeon.