Woman in coma after botched surgery in Mexico

SAN DIEGO - UPDATE (May 13, 2015): 10News reporter Ashlee DeMartino received a message via Facebook from Green & Health Hospital. Hospital officials said they were putting together a statement on the Stidum case and would send it to 10News in the next few days.

A San Diego woman who traveled to Mexico for a gastric bypass procedure remains in a coma and her former husband told 10News that doctors believe she may never recover from the complications.

Angie Stidum, 48, was a wife, a mother and a grandmother. Her ex-husband, Reggie Wilson, said, "Right now, she is fighting for her life."

Stidum wanted to undergo gastric bypass surgery to help control her high blood pressure.

"She wanted to be healthy. She wanted a tool to help her lose the weight," said Stium's friend Lakesha Sexton.

With no health insurance, Stidum searched the Internet for an inexpensive doctor and found the Green & Health Hospital in Tijuana.

Wilson didn't feel right about the idea from the start.

"She wired half of the money over there, and then they told her to just go on a liquid diet for 72 hours and then go and have surgery," said Wilson.

Sexton's daughter, Alexis, went with Stidum to Mexico.

Lakesha Sexton told 10News, "I drove them to the San Ysidro Outlet Mall at 5:30 in the morning to meet up with the people from Green & Health. They put them in the van and drove them across the border. I tried calling them for hours and hours, and finally around 3 p.m. my daughter answered her phone and she was hysterical. She was like, 'Mom, I don't know what to do. Angie's not here.' I said, 'What do you mean she’s not there?' The staff told my daughter that Angie had died."

According to the note of transfer obtained by 10News, Stidum was given cephalosporin, an antibiotic not used in the U.S. that is similar to penicillin. Stidum had a severe allergic reaction.

"They found her on the floor not breathing and they did a tracheotomy," said Wilson.

"My daughter said the room for the surgery was no bigger than a closet," Sexton added.

The transfer note said Stidum went into full cardiac arrest. Doctors performed CPR, put her on a ventilator and called for customs to help get her back to the U.S.

"She's never come out of a coma from Mexico," said Wilson.

Stidum's doctor in the U.S. said she is in a vegetative state with only half of her brain functioning.

10News reached out to Green & Health for a comment, communicating with hospital representatives via Facebook. They initially agreed to an interview but abruptly blocked 10News from their account.

10News has not been able to reach them since.


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