A woman who died a week after budget Turkey weight-loss surgery was begged by family not to go but she “believed it would not happen to her”.
Khelisyah Ashamu booked a £3,000 trip to Turkey for surgery to remove her post-pregnancy weight, but an inquest revealed she was pronounced brain-dead three days later.
The 26-year-old’s mother, Toyin, read about a patient who died after the surgery and pleaded for her daughter not to risk possible “bleeding, pulmonary embolism, and anaesthetic complications”.
An Inquest into the IT worker’s death revealed complications arose after surgery plans were changed last minute from a gastric sleeve to a complex bypass.
Toyin, said: “We tried to dissuade her from going. I even found an article about somebody else that had gone to Turkey and died and I sent it to her.
“But because that person was in their mid-40s she believed it would not happen to her.”
The court heard that 30 minutes into her second operation she suffered a cardiac arrest and was placed in an induced coma, but sadly passed away a week later.
Oyebanji, Khelisyah’s father, said: “They trivialise it and make out like it’s some minor surgery.
“They told her afterwards she could go to the beach. I was against her having the surgery. Her baby was not yet one-year-old.
“I asked her to look after her son. I was not comfortable with it at all. She told me not to worry and that all of her friends were going.”
He added: “All of her friends came back, she was the only one who did not come back.”
Following the inquest, the grieving parents released a statement that read: “We never imagined when we saw Khelisyah travel to Turkey, for what we thought was a routine operation, that we would never see her alive again.
“She was an amazing young woman, with a great career, a young son and everything to live for. Three years on, it’s still hard to accept she will never walk through the door or her son who she loved so much will not have a chance to know his wonderful mum.
“Our grandson is a living reminder of his mum, which brings us so much comfort, but it’s devastating that he will not remember his mum because he was only 11 months old when she left and never came back.
“We have to tell him how much his mum loved him. She would be so proud to see how he has changed from a small baby to a fine young boy.
“Having to go through the inquest was awful, but necessary to investigate what happened. We will continue to work with our lawyers to try and get to the truth of how our beautiful daughter died.
“It’s hard not to think things could have been so different and we can only hope that others will think twice before booking surgical procedures abroad.”
Khelisyah was not the first victim of a Turkey weight-loss death, Joe Thornley died after a budget sleeve gastrectomy in 2020.
The 25-year-old also spent £3,000 for the operation and his mother is now warning others, she said: “It’s just not worth it. I don’t want another family to go through what we’ve been through.”
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