An Arizona woman is fighting for her life after she contracted fungal meningitis from cosmetic procedures she flew to Mexico to have done for cheap.
Alondra Lomas, 27, traveled to Clinica-K3, a private clinic in Matamoros, Mexico, to get liposuction and a Brazilian butt lift (BBL) after two C-section births that left her with sagging skin.
She underwent the procedures on March 13, paid $3,000 — just a small fraction of the $10,000 or more it likely would have cost in America — and flew home to Phoenix the next day.
Lomas spent a month in pain and was first admitted to the hospital in May, where she still remains — clinging to hope as she fights for her life.
“Honestly I’ve put into my mind, ‘Stay positive and you’ll heal. Stay sad and down and you’ll continue to feel sick.’ I’m in good spirits,” she told The Post.
Lomas believed the surgeries went well until she began to feel crippling pain on March 31.
“I felt for the first time this pain that I have never felt before in my life. I felt paralyzed,” she told the Daily Mail.
By April, she was constantly lethargic, getting headaches, experiencing back pain and freezing despite the Southwestern heat.
She went to the hospital on May 5 and initially stumped doctors with her symptoms. But two days later, she was diagnosed with fungal meningitis and hospitalized at St Joseph’s Hospital in Arizona.
She has remained in the hospital ever since.
Lomas is one of nine confirmed cases part of an outbreak tied to cosmetic surgery clinics in Matamoros, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Seven of the women have already died from the infection, including Shyanne Medrano, a 31-year-old mother whom Lomas called her “surgery sister.”
“We had surgery the same day [done by the same doctor] and we started texting and being friends and it just broke my heart [to find out she had died],” Lomas said. Medrano passed away from fungal meningitis on May 16.
Their surgeon, Dr. Luis Manuel Rivera De Anda, also operated on Lauren Robinson, a 29-year-old Texan mom-of-four who died in May.
The CDC warns that “fungal meningitis is a rare, life-threatening fungal infection that causes swelling of the areas around the brain and spinal cord” that can occur “during medical procedures if all infection control practices are not followed.”
Symptoms of fungal meningitis include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and confusion.
The US public health agency notified Mexican officials of the outbreak linked back to cosmetic surgery clinics in Matamoros on May 11. Clinica K-3, where Lomas had her surgery, and Riverside Surgical Center have been shut down and 10 other clinics are being investigated.
Some 1.2 million US residents travel to Mexico annually to undergo elective surgery at a discount, according to Medical Tourism Mexico, which advertises that patients can save up to 80% on a comparable procedure in the US.
The CDC is currently tracking about 200 people who had surgery in Matamoros and could be at risk, warning that those who had procedures under epidural anesthesia at the two clinics between Jan. 1 and May 13 get tested for meningitis immediately.
When asked what she fears most, Lomas told “Impact x Nightline” that it’s “death.”
“And I only say that because I have not seen one lady leave. I have not seen no girl go home yet,” she said.
After over a month in the hospital, Lomas saw no improvement and underwent brain surgery to create a port the size of a quarter in her head to deliver the anti-fungal medication directly to the infection.
She has since had one surgical revision but confirmed to The Post that she has been “doing better” in recent days and has reported that her Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) levels have gone down.
On July 5, she will undergo back surgery to remove a 2-centimeter abscess that’s currently blocking her spine from the medicine and pump antibiotics to the area.
Although Lomas has seen her “surgery sister” and others pass from the infection, she’s fighting to stay positive — and make it to her kids’ next birthdays.
The loving mother already missed her one-year-old daughter’s birthday and hopes to be home next month in time for her son’s eighth birthday.