A 20-year-old woman who tragically died after a botched weight-loss operation in Turkey after years of being bullied for her weight, posted a tragic TikTok days before saying: ‘My last post before weight loss surgery – see you on the other side.’
Morgan Ribeiro, 20, had flown to Turkey with her boyfriend for a £2,500 gastric sleeve operation earlier this month because she didn’t want to be placed ‘on an NHS waiting list for years.’
It is the latest tragic example of calamitous foreign cosmetic surgery and Morgan’s mother has called for more government intervention to educate around the dangerous surgeries saying ‘she never wants this to happen to another daughter.’
Morgan’s procedure took place on January 5 and three days later she was given the all-clear to fly home with her boyfriend James Brewster, 19, however on their return flight to Gatwick, Morgan became seriously ill and went into septic shock.
After the plane made an emergency landing in Serbia, it emerged that Morgan’s small intestine had been cut during the gastric sleeve procedure, leading to an infection.
In a last post on TikTok prior to her operation, Morgan told her friends she’d see them on the other side
Morgan Ribeiro, 20, had flown to Turkey with her boyfriend for a £2,500 gastric sleeve operation earlier this month
She reportedly didn’t want to be placed ‘on an NHS waiting list for years.’
During the operation, surgeons removed over 10cm of her small intestine but tragically Morgan suffered a heart attack on January 9 and was placed in an induced coma – dying four days later in a hospital in Belgrade.
Morgan’s family say they had not known about her planned operation until just days before she was due to fly out and were concerned by the risks.
Her sister, 26-year-old Kayleigh Ribeiro had begged her not to go through with the surgery which carries a number of complicating health risks.
Her mother Erin Gibson, 44, is now fundraising £10,000 to repatriate her body and has spoken publicly about her grief.
Speaking to the Independent, the mother-of-five said: ‘Growing up she was bullied a lot, she’s always battled with her weight and been a bigger girl and she had a really rough time with it.
‘I told her she was beautiful inside and out, she really was a beautiful girl.
‘By the time I found out it was too late, she was already on the plane. I had that sinking feeling because I’d heard horror stories about Turkey.
‘I never ever want this to happen to another daughter. I don’t want her life to be in vain.’
In advance of the procedure, Morgan had had a virtual consultation with the Turkish company in September 2023 before booking the January operation.
Her boyfriend James claims that hospital staff and translators speaking to her did not mention the dangers associated with the operation prior to Morgan going under the knife.
The organisation that connected Morgan with the Turkish surgeon has denied any wrongdoing
Following her operation on their Wizz Air flight home, he recalled that Morgan was ‘really hot and in a lot of pain.’
He explained: ‘The flight attendant gave her some ice and water and she was finding it hard to breathe so they took her to the front of the plane where there was more space, they tried to give her an oxygen mask.
‘I could tell something was seriously wrong.’
Morgan’s family say they had not known about her planned operation until just days before she was due to fly out and were concerned by the risks
In advance of the procedure, Morgan had had a virtual consultation with the Turkish company in September 2023 before booking the January operation
Morgan’s boyfriend, James Brewster (pictured together) claims that hospital staff and translators speaking to her did not mention the dangers associated with the operation
A fundraiser in Morgan’s memory reads: ‘She was loving, she was an artist, a drama queen, just like me, and she was beautiful inside and out,’ her mother said.
‘She was outgoing, silly, friendly and loving. She loved singing and caring for others – and she worked closely with children.’
A Wizz Air spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that during a flight from Istanbul to London Gatwick we made a diversion to Belgrade due to a passenger requiring medical assistance.
‘The health and safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority, and in this instance the passenger was disembarked from the aircraft to seek urgent medical attention.
‘We’re incredibly saddened to hear of the passenger passing away following their medical treatment and our thoughts remain with their family at this time.’
A government spokesman said: ‘We are supporting the family of a British woman who died in Belgrade and are in contact with the local authorities.
‘We urge anyone considering a medical procedure abroad to review our travel advice and the relevant guidance from the NHS and other professional bodies.’
Morgan’s tragic death comes days after a 26-year-old mother-of-three died days after a Brazilian bum-lift operation in Turkey.
Demi Agoglia of Salford, Greater Manchester, is said to have become ill despite doctors initially declaring her surgery last Thursday was successful.
The 26-year-old, who had a seven-month-old baby boy, first said she felt unwell just hours before she was due to return to Manchester, The Sun reported.
The young woman was taken into intensive care but was tragically pronounced dead on Monday.
She had flown to Turkey having already had dental work which was botched as well as another surgery.
Young mother Demi Agoglia, 26, has also died this year after surgery in Turkey
Her devastated brother Carl, 37, said Ms Agoglia’s family and partner had tried to convince her not to go through with the bum-lift as they were concerned for her safety.
The father-of-four said: ‘It is tragic what happened. We are just in shock. She went to Istanbul to have it done.
‘She had previously gone to have her teeth done. No one wanted her to go out and have it done but she is one of those people.
‘Her partner is still out there and his dad has just flown out there to be with him.
‘If anyone is thinking of flying to Turkey for an operation I would say don’t do it! Even her boyfriend didn’t want her to do it. But she is 26 and has her own mind. Her mum didn’t want her to go out either.’
The risks of foreign cosmetic surgeries are well known.
Last year, Norfolk’s senior coroner Jacqueline Lake wrote to the then Health Minister Steve Barclay of her concerns that people are unaware of the risks of having cosmetic surgery overseas.
Melissa Kerr, 31, who was ‘conscious about her appearance’, travelled to a private hospital in Istanbul for the procedure, Ms Lake said.
But the psychological wellbeing practitioner, of Denton, Norfolk, was only given ‘limited information regarding the risks and mortality rate’ associated with it.
Ms Kerr, who had a breast enlargement operation a decade earlier without complications, died at the Medicana Kadikoy hospital on the day of the butt lift – which sees fat harvested from elsewhere on the body and injected into the buttocks – on November 19, 2022.
Melissa Kerr, 31, of Gorleston, Norfolk, was on holiday in Istanbul when she had the procedure
Pictured is Ms Kerr and her partner Skye Birch. Kerr’s relatives listened to the inquest remotely
She died after injected fat entered a vein before moving and blocking her pulmonary artery, with her cause of death recorded as a pulmonary thromboembolism, Ms Lake said.
Consultant plastic surgeon Simon Withey, who was asked to view evidence in the case and prepare a report for Ms Kerr’s inquest as an expert witness, said the death rate associated with Brazilian butt lifts is ‘likely to be in excess of one in 4,000’.
He said it is ‘quite possible’ that, if the risk of the procedure had been explained to Ms Kerr ‘before she was financially committed to proceed, she would not have done’.
Number of Brits needing hospital treatment after getting cosmetic surgery abroad DOUBLES in three years amid booming popularity of Turkey’s cosmetic clinics
By John Ely Senior Health reporter for MailOnline
Cut-price overseas butt lifts, tummy tucks and ‘mommy makeovers’ in Turkey are landing more and more Brits in hospital, a new audit warns.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) found 324 Brits have needed medical treatment or corrective surgery after having gone under the knife overseas since 2018.
This has surged 94 per cent in three years, the organisation claimed, as increasing numbers of Brits seek to look more like their celebrity idols.
Turkey was the largest source of botched ops, BAAPS figures suggested.
Almost 80 per cent of Brits who needed corrective ops in the last year were treated originally in surgical tourism hubs like Istanbul and Ankara.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons analysed 324 cases of Brits needing medical treatment or corrective surgery after having gone under the knife overseas since 2018
Other big surgical destinations for Brits included the Czech Republic and Lithuania, according to BAAPS.
Brits who head abroad for cut-price surgery are coming home with life-threatening infections, implants bursting through the skin and blood clots.
Some are even returning with antibiotic-resistant bugs, medics warned.
Such bacteria are known to leap between patients in hospital settings, triggering potentially fatal infections.
An estimated 12,000 Brits are killed by drug-resistant bacteria every year.
Procedures to treat botched cosmetic ops cost the NHS millions of pounds each year.
BAAPS estimates the average cost to the health service of treating a Brit botched overseas is about £15,000, putting the total bill since 2018 at about £4.8million.
This bill represents the cost of resources like medication and dressings, as well as the time surgeons and other NHS staff must spend on such cases.
While the £15,000 figure is an average, surgeons have previously told this website more serious cases can cost upwards of £100,000 to the taxpayer.
BAAPS’s president Marc Pacifico said the audit only includes surgeons who are members of the charity, and therefore, are an underestimate of the issue.
‘We are only scratching the surface of the true number needing treatment on an already-stretched health service with a record-high waiting list,’ he said.
Mr Pacifico said BAPPS is in discussion with regulators and governments, both here in the UK and abroad to try and reduce the number of botched overseas surgeries.
‘We’re not trying to stop this, we’re in no position to and nor is this what we’re aiming for,’ he said.
‘We’re aiming to try and raise awareness, increase safety, ultimately protect patients but also relieve the burden on the NHS.’
He said one of these discussions is about advs promoting surgery overseas, with too many Brits lured to places like Turkey thinking they can go under the knife and enjoy a holiday in the sun at the same time.
‘Nothing could be further from the truth,’ Mr Pacifico warned.
He added:’ Medical advice and support for people looking to go abroad is drowned and dwarfed by the number of paid promotions and glossy advertisements for the cosmetic tourism market itself’.
MailOnline has previously warned about so-called ‘all inclusive’ package deals that offer Brits weighing up surgery luxury hotels, VIP airport transfers and more to sweeten the deal as well as discounts on multiple operations.
BAAPS audit of the 324 cases where Brits required treatment doesn’t include information on outcomes, such as if patients made a full recovery or suffered life-long injuries.
Liposuction that offers to remove up to 15 litres of fat, BBL’s, eye colour changing laser treatments and hymenoplasties are all offered in clinics across Turkey
But at least 25 Brits are known to have died following medical procedures in Turkey since January 2019, according to Government data.
Price isn’t the only factor driving Brits to seek cosmetic surgery overseas.
British surgeons have previously warned this website that Turkish clinics will also perform procedures on Brits who ‘should never have gone under the knife’.
Such cases can be because Brits are too fat or have other health conditions that make them more likely to suffer dangerous complications post-surgery.
Turkish clinics have also been known to offer extreme procedures like mega-liposuction, which are not offered in the UK due to the risks to the patient.