Lake Co. woman dies of flesh-eating bacteria after liposuction

Mary Ryan, who died from a flesh-eating bacteria brought on by liposuction, is survived by her husband in one of several photos 07-02-13
Mary Ryan, who died from a flesh-eating bacteria brought on by liposuction, is survived by her husband in one of several photos
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Updated: 7/03/2013 9:24 am
LAKE COUNTY, Fla. -- A heartbroken man whose wife was killed by a flesh-eating bacteria opened up in an interview with WFTV Channel 9.

Mary Ryan died days after she underwent liposuction at a Lake County clinic, and her devastated husband just told Channel 9's Mark Joyella her death could have been prevented.

Ryan went to the clinic and was told within a few days of the procedure, she'd be looking better and feeling better before going to Europe with her family for the holidays, her husband said.

Instead, 10 days after the procedure, Ryan died.

"It's just like she's not gone, she's going to walk in the door any second now," said Ryan's husband, Jimmy Ryan.

Ryan said he and his wife were married in Ireland at the age of 17, and 20 years ago this week, the two of them moved to the United States, settling in Lake County.

Late last year, unhappy with weight she'd put on, Mary Ryan went to a Lady Lake clinic for lipo, a minimal procedure that took about four-and-a-half hours.

But after the procedure, Mary Ryan was in pain, and her husband said it kept getting worse. Jimmy Ryan said the surgeon, Dr. Todd Ginestra, assured the Ryans it was normal post-surgical discomfort.

"He called in another medication for pain and nausea but we never got any antibiotics," Jimmy Ryan told Channel 9.

Still in pain, his wife flew with her husband to Ireland, but her condition only got worse and she was rushed to a hospital where doctors did two rounds of emergency surgery. She died three days later.

"They told us it was flesh-eating bacteria, necrotizing fasciitis, which you can get it from that type of procedure that she had done," said Jimmy Ryan.

A coroner's inquest in Ireland last week concluded Ryan died of "shock and sepsis due to necrotizing fasciitis," the infection and lack of antibiotics, "a very, very tragic sequence of events."

The investigation concluded it was "medical misadventure."

"It was absolutely devastating. Very hard, very hard," said Jimmy Ryan.

Channel 9 made several efforts to reach the doctor for comment, but never heard back. Jimmy Ryan, meanwhile, has hired an attorney and plans to sue.


Video: WFTV Orlando
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