DENVER, Colorado (KRDO) — The family of Emmalyn Nguyen was recently awarded $2 million after the 18-year-old got a botched breast augmentation in 2019.
Insurance companies for plastic surgeon Dr. Geoffrey Kim and certified registered nurse anesthetist Rex Meeker, paid $1 million, respectively, settling out of court after a malpractice suit. Both men refused to contribute their own personal assets after the tragedy.
The settlement ends a saga that’s spanned two years for Nguyen’s family.
Shortly after going under general anesthesia at the Greenwood Village-based Colorado Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery Center, Emmalyn Nguyen stopped breathing and later went into cardiac arrest. It was 15 minutes before anyone checked on her. Five and a half hours later, Meeker called 911 for help.
The teen who wanted to travel the world and vlog about her experiences was left unresponsive and unable to move or speak. She spent 14 months in a long-term care facility before passing away from complications.
Her family’s attorney released this statement:
“The family is heartbroken at losing Emmalyn and is ready to move on to the next chapter in their lives, cherishing their memories of her short 18 years of life. Because of our laws, much of the money recovered will actually be repaid to Medicaid, but the family really had no choice because Dr. Kim did not have enough insurance and refused to contribute his own personal assets. There is indeed no price on the life of this beautiful, ambitious young woman who was needlessly killed by medical negligence.”
The Colorado Department of Regulatory Affairs shows Dr. Geoffrey Kim’s license as “active with conditions,” but does not specify the conditions. Rex Meeker’s RN license is active, but he cannot practice.