How cheap Turkish surgery ruined my life: Depressed 46-year-old who spent £7,000 on a


At least 24 Brits have died as a result of medical tourism trips to Turkey since January 2019, according to the Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Here, MailOnline highlights some of the victims.

Leah Cambridge

Leah Cambridge, 29, suffered a blood clot during a £6,500 Brazilian butt lift surgery in Turkey. 

Leah Cambridge, 29, died after having the 'Brazilian butt lift' procedure in Turkey

Leah Cambridge, 29, died after having the ‘Brazilian butt lift’ procedure in Turkey 

The mother-of-three, from Leeds, died just one day after travelling to an Elite Aftercare clinic in Turkey in August 2018. 

The trainee beautician, described as being ‘paranoid about her body’, paid in cash for the procedure after being inspired by pictures on Instagram. 

The procedure involved having fat extracted from the waist and injected into the buttocks.

But she suffered a fatal complication when fat was accidentally injected into a vein, causing her to have three heart attacks on the operating table.

Ms Cambridge’s partner Scott Franks told Wakefield Coroner’s Court that the surgeon who carried out the procedure told him he had ‘injected the fat too far into the muscle and it entered her veins’. 

Mr Franks said when he flew out to Turkey after his partner died, Dr Ali Uckan, the surgeon who treated Leah, had told him: ‘It’s a guessing game, you can’t see where you are going into.’ 

Ms Cambridge’s father, Craig, took his own life in 2021 with an inquest held in July last year hearing how he was never able to get past the loss of his daughter. 

Diarra Akua Eunice Brown

Diarra Brown

Diarra Brown, 28, died after having liposuction in Turkey

Diarra Akua Eunice Brown died aged 28, two days after getting liposuction at a clinic in the suburb of Bahcelievler in Istanbul, in October 2021. 

She reportedly underwent the operation to have fat removed from her hips. 

While the procedure initially appeared to be a success, Ms Brown ‘suddenly’ fell ill while having her dressings changed.

She died just hours later. 

Social media posts from family and friends described her as a ‘beautiful soul’ and a ‘close friend’.

‘This must be a dream,’ one post said. ‘Still can’t come to terms with this yet.’

‘I miss you angel. I’m devastated you were taken away way before your time,’ said another.

Shannon Bowe

Ms Bowe's loved ones have flooded Facebook with tributes to the 'beautiful angel' who was the 'life and soul of every party'

Shannon Bowe, 28 died after undergoing gastric band surgery in Turkey

Shannon Bowe, from Denny, near Falkirk, died while undergoing gastric band surgery in Turkey in April 2023. 

The 28-year-old passed away during the procedure which involves placing a band around the stomach.

Where exactly Ms Bowe had the procedure in Turkey and the complication that led to her death have not been revealed.

In the aftermath of her death, Ms Bowe’s boyfriend Ross Stirling wrote on social media: ‘Sleep tight my angel, love you forever and always.’

Gastric band surgery involves a doctor placing a gastric band around the top of the stomach, creating a small pouch.

When the patient eats, this small pouch fills up more quickly than their stomach normally would, making them feel fuller with less food.

By encouraging them to eat less, the procedure can help patients lose weight.  

Melissa Kerr

Melissa Kerr, 31, of Gorleston, Norfolk, died after having a BBL in Turkey

Melissa Kerr, 31, of Gorleston, Norfolk, died after having a BBL in Turkey

Melissa Kerr, 31, died while undergoing a Brazilian butt lift in Turkey in 2019, just before her wedding.

Ms Kerr traveled to Istanbul’s Medicana Haznedar Hospital in November that year for gluteal augmentation, which can cost up to £3,150. 

The psychological wellbeing practitioner, from Gorleston, Norfolk, died from a blocked artery in her lung as a result of undergoing the surgery.  

Her twin sister Natasha who set up a Justgiving.com page after her death described her a ‘a pure and beautiful soul inside and out’.

She said: ‘Words cannot describe the pain and heartbreak we are going through, life without her will never be the same again.

‘We miss her deeply and nothing will fill the emptiness we are left with.’

Melissa’s partner Skye Birch said: ‘I will continue to love you with all my heart until my last breath.’ 

Ms Kerr also worked as a volunteer helping domestic violence victims and supporting people through bereavement.

Abimbola Ajoke Bamgbose 

Abimbola Ajoke Bamgbose, a 38-year-old social worker from Dartford, Kent, passed away after buying an overseas package deal with Mono Cosmetic Surgery

Abimbola Ajoke Bamgbose, 38, died after liposuction in Turkey

Abimbola Ajoke Bamgbose, a 38-year-old social worker, from Dartford, Kent, died in August 2020 after undergoing liposuction surgery in Turkey. 

The mother-of-three bought an overseas package deal with Mono Cosmetic Surgery after becoming fed up with people asking her if she was pregnant, according to her husband. 

A post-mortem examination found that Mrs Bamgbose suffered perforations to her bowel during the surgery, with the cause of death given as peritonitis with multiple organ failure. 

Peritonitis is an infection of the peritoneum, the inner lining of the tummy which covers vital internal organs like the kidneys, liver and bowel.

Her husband Moyosore Olowo told an inquest he was unaware his wife had travelled abroad for cosmetic surgery, instead believing she had simply gone on a holiday with her friends. 

It was not until Mrs Bamgbose called her husband to say she was suffering from stomach pains following the procedure that he found out what had happened. 

Mr Olowo said his wife had visited a private medical practice in the UK for surgery but added that the cost had been too high for her to have the treatment in Britain.

Carol Keenan

Carol Keenan was offered and accepted the chance to get a third procedure free of charge at the same time to sculpt her abdominal muscles and ¿improve how they looked¿

Carol Keenan, 54, died after having a BBL and tummy tuck in Turkey

Carol Keenan, 54, died six days after undergoing a combined Brazilian butt lift and tummy tuck in Turkey.  

The grandmother, of Glenrothes, Fife, paid £7,000 for the procedures at  a private hospital in Istanbul in 2022 after becoming anxious about the way her body looked.

Ms Keenan also accepted the offer of free abdominal muscle repair surgery shortly before she was taken into the operating theatre.

But she died before she was due to have a final check-up and fly home.

Speaking to MailOnline in April, her family said they are still waiting for the results of her autopsy 11 months on from her death.

Her daughter Leonie Keenan, 32, said: ‘My mother was a fit and healthy individual. She was a very petite size ten and she kept in shape by walking everywhere and going swimming.

‘She was a very active grandmother who loved bouncing on the trampoline with the kids –  but she was not happy with her body even though everyone told her she looked great.

‘She set her heart on having surgery after seeing stories about other people and celebrities having procedures. I don’t know if it was like a mid-life crisis.’



Read More

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More