A Florida plastic surgeon is being investigated after his surgery-obsessed wife suffered a cardiac arrest while undergoing a procedure on his operating table. Hillary Brown, 33, underwent surgery on November 21 at her husband Dr. Ben Brown’s clinic, Restore Plastic Surgery, located in Gulf Breeze, Florida.
However, she suffered a medical emergency in the middle of “several procedures.” A mother of three from a previous marriage, Hillary spent a week in a coma before passing away. She was taken off life support after it was determined that her brain had been starved of oxygen. Her husband’s clinic is now facing multiple medical malpractice lawsuits and is being investigated by police.
Medical Negligence and Malpractice
Brown died seven days after the critical procedure on November 21. She was rushed to the hospital after Dr. Ben Brown called 911 from his clinic at around 4:15 pm. Court records, as reported by USA Today, indicated that she was undergoing multiple surgical procedures when she suffered a cardiac arrest, possibly due to overmedication.
Upon receiving a frantic phone call from Ben, Brown’s father, Marty Ellington, was told to rush from their Texas home to Florida.
Despite describing her relationship with Ben as tumultuous, Ellington mentioned that Brown enjoyed being married to a plastic surgeon because he could readily perform various surgeries on her as needed.
“She was gorgeous. We kept telling her, ‘Why are you doing this?'” he recalled.
Ben, an award-winning surgeon, graduated at the top of his medical school class after studying at Georgetown University, as mentioned in his company profile. He specializes in procedures such as breast enhancement, facial rejuvenation, and body contouring.
Hillary reportedly married Brown approximately two years ago, and according to Ellington, their marriage was described as “intense.”
There’s speculation that she might have considered leaving Ben if her marriage didn’t involve the added advantage of frequent plastic surgeries.
“I think that maybe she would want to leave… but she couldn’t because the lifestyle was favorable,” he said.
Hillary’s social media profiles suggest a noticeable transformation through various plastic surgery procedures in recent years. This raised concerns for Ellington, who questioned whether proper protocols were being followed by Ben.
According to Ellington, the surgeon mentioned they were ‘out of’ the usual medicine, leading him to use an alternative.
Moreover, he claimed that there was no crash cart in the operating room containing life-saving equipment like oxygen and defibrillators.
“With the amount of swelling in her brain that means her brain suffered from lack of oxygen for quite some time,” Ellington said, claiming there were not enough properly trained staff on hand to help in case of emergency.
“We want answers,” he continued.
“We haven’t been given answers. If it’s a mistake, it was a mistake, but it doesn’t bring my daughter back, you know. I don’t want his money. I don’t want anything. All I want is an answer because I think that we owe that to my daughter.”
Ellington added that even if Hillary had contemplated leaving her husband, she might have postponed such decisions because “she already has one failing marriage.”
“She didn’t want to drag the kids through it because she was so giving and caring for her kids. She didn’t want to drag the kids through that again.”
As reported by the Pensacola News Journal, deputies had previously responded to a call at the couple’s $2.1 million Florida mansion in March, “in reference to a suicide.”
According to reports, Ben told the dispatcher in March that his wife was “barely conscious and still unresponsive due to self-medication with an unknown amount of Valium.” Hillary admitted to taking Valium but denied being suicidal, stating that she just wanted her husband to know “she was serious.”
Ben paid tribute to his wife on social media on November 24, three days after conducting the final surgery on her, asking people to “pray for a miracle.”
“We called 911 and started CPR. Her heart came back but her brain is not doing well,” he wrote at the time. “Hillary Ellington Brown you are my soulmate, my world, my everything. Please come back. Please!”
Restore Plastic Surgery, owned by Ben, is reportedly facing two medical malpractice lawsuits, with one naming Ben as a defendant, according to USA Today. In this case, Wendy Carden alleges that Ben used “foreign materials” in a post-mastectomy reconstructive breast surgery in 2018, leading to infection and sepsis.
Carden further claims to have suffered nerve damage and permanent injury due to her arms being positioned above her head, accusing Brown of “negligently failing to periodically monitor the position of the upper extremities.” The case is being heard in the Escambia County Circuit Court, and is ongoing.