Morgan Ribeiro was just 20 when she died days after going under the knife (Picture: TikTok)
The last time Richard Ribeiro, 44, heard his daughter’s voice was on WhatsApp – all she wanted to do was let her dad know she was ‘OK’.
Morgan Ribeiro, 20, had flown to Istanbul, Turkey, to undergo a routine weight loss surgery on January 5 after years of being bullied.
But after being given the go-ahead to head home three days later, she fell ill on the plane back to Gatwick, forcing the pilot to make an emergency stop in Belgrade, Serbia, to race her to hospital.
Morgan’s boyfriend, Jamie Brewster, 19, was told by doctors she was going into septic shock – Istanbul surgeons had perforated her small intestine, causing an infection, they said.
She died four days later.
Richard, from south London, told The Mirror that his daughter texted him before she boarded her Wizz Air flight to London.
Morgan had thoroughly researched Turkish clinics to find the best one for her (Picture: TikTok)
He said: ‘She contacted me while she was out there after she had the operation, said it had gone OK and that she was starting the healing process, but that she was sore.’
Morgan used her trust fund to pay for the £2,500 gastric band procedure, which involves a silicone band pinching the stomach so people feel fuller sooner.
She had spent time researching private health clinics before landing on a company in Switzerland that connected Morgan with doctors in Turkey, her family say.
But Serbian prosecutors and the British authorities have launched investigations into Morgan’s death after Serbian doctors removed 10cm of Morgan’s small intestine in a bid to contain the infection.
The Serbian doctors told Morgan’s family that their daughter was the ‘third time’ a plane carrying a British cosmetic surgery patient was grounded in Belgrade because of medical complications.
Fearing hefty medical bills or waiting lists, an increasing number of British patients are seeking medical treatments abroad in what’s often called ‘medical tourism’.
According to Patient Beyond Borders, a global tourism guide, Turkey is now among the world’s top 10 medical tourism destinations.
More than 640,000 medical tourists visited Turkey in 2021, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.
In the weeks since, Richard hasn’t been able to listen to his daughter’s voice note.
‘That was the last time I heard her voice,’ he added.
For Morgan’s friends, the last time they heard from her was a TikTok video before her operation.
‘See you on the other side,’ she said.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Serbian prosecution service, known as the Republic Public Prosecutors Office, have been contacted for comment.
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‘That was the last time I heard her voice.’