Australian dies during surgery in Mexico

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

The family of a Gold Coast woman who died while undergoing cosmetic surgery in Mexico says nobody should risk death to improve their appearance.

Eva Sarmonikas went into cardiac arrest on Friday while undergoing surgery at a hospital in the town of Mexicali, on the border with the United States, according to a Facebook statement from her family.

The 29-year-old’s sudden death triggered an outpouring of grief on social media, with friends and relatives promising to donate money to help her mother and sister travel to Mexico to arrange an independent autopsy and bring her body home.

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It was not known exactly what procedure Ms Sarmonikas underwent in Mexico, but her family has hinted she travelled there for cosmetic surgery.

“This was not the way to go home, no woman should risk death to improve on perfection,” a statement from the family on Facebook read.

“As beautiful as Evita was inside and out, she still had certain inadequacies as almost every woman on earth does.

Photo: Facebook

The 29-year-old’s sudden death triggered an outpouring of grief on social media. Photo: Facebook

“Her perfect and whole soul was not strong enough in light of a world that constantly bombarded her with an urgency to demand more from herself and her body.

“These near perfect graphic comparisons our young women are bombarded with … are too much for innocent hearts to battle, and the consequences can be fatal.

“Tomorrow morning when you look in the mirror, say to yourself, ‘I am enough, I am worthy, I am perfect just the way I am’.

“Don’t listen to a world that is hungry to fill your insecurities with poison.

“Stop feeding an industry that hates humans, especially women in the natural state and their perfect birth bodies.”

According to Ms Sarmonikas’ family, the hospital in Mexicali offered to cremate her body, but the Australian Government advised against it.

“The Australian Embassy has been clear on not allowing her body to leave Mexicali, or allowing her little body to be cremated before an independent autopsy and external opinion is sought,” the statement said.

Ms Sarmonikas travelled to Mexico without travel insurance and her family expects the cost of bringing her home could run up to $20,000.

“Without access to such funds … we have a daunting journey ahead,” her sister Andrea wrote on Facebook.

Friends and family pay tribute to the girl with ‘brightest personality’

A former boyfriend of Ms Sarmonikas’, David Burkett, received the news of her death late on Friday afternoon.

Mr Burkett was in a relationship with Ms Sarmonikas for four years and said her family in Australia and Chile were shaken.

“Eva lost her father when she was very young,” he told ABC News.

“That was a massive shock, so this is like reliving that again.”

Photo: Facebook

Doctors are concerned cheaper price tags are drawing people overseas for substandard surgeries. Photo: Facebook

He said Ms Sarmonika was “enthusiastic and vibrant”.

“Eva was very outgoing and bubbly,” he said.

“Anybody who met her wouldn’t forget her easily, because she was so enthusiastic and vibrant.

“We used to go salsa dancing together.”

Ms Sarmonikas grew up on the Gold Coast, attending Coombabah State High School, where she was school captain.

The devout Christian completed a Diploma of Theology at Hope College at Varsity Lakes and was a member of Lifehouse Christian Church in Labrador.

“I taught Eva at Coombabah,” Alix Rochaix wrote on Facebook.

“I remember her as one of the most beautiful, kind, and intuitively intelligent girls I have ever known.”

Ms Sarmonikas had worked as a receptionist with LJ Hooker in Surfers Paradise and her colleagues have expressed their deep sadness.

“I will forever treasure and remember you as the glowing, friendly, chatty friend bursting with kindness and smiles from those gorgeous glossy lips. You were magical,” Chelsie Lerga wrote.

The business said in a statement: “With the bubbliest and brightest personality anyone could ever imagine, it was a pleasure to hear her wonderful voice at the other end of the line.”


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