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20-year-old woman dies days after undergoing £2,500 weight loss surgery in Turkey

Rhianna Benson

Published 
| Last updated 

20-year-old woman dies days after undergoing £2,500 weight loss surgery in Turkey

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Kerry O’Doherty/Morgan Ribeiro

Morgan Ribeiro had been a victim to ceaseless bullying and brutal torment over her weight and appearance for as long as she could remember.

But upon turning 20, she'd reached boiling point with the online hate, and sought to transform her life by signing up to go under the knife.

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Reluctant to be placed 'on an NHS waiting list for years', however, Morgan began researching further afield and stumbled upon a clinic in Turkey.

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The surgery offered her a gastric sleeve for as little as £2,500, and within a matter of days. Morgan - who had documented her weight battle on TikTok - and her boyfriend James Brewster, 19, were on board a flight to Southeast Europe.

"Growing up she was bullied a lot, she's always battled with her weight and been a bigger girl and she had a really rough time with it," her mother Erin Gibson told press.

"I told her she was beautiful inside and out, she really was a beautiful girl."

Morgan's sister Kayleigh, 26, had implored with her to consider the potentially fatal risks to the surgery, but she'd reportedly made her mind up.

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Morgan had ventured to Turkey to undergo weight loss surgery. Credit: Facebook/Kerry O’Doherty/Morgan Ribeiro
Morgan had ventured to Turkey to undergo weight loss surgery. Credit: Facebook/Kerry O’Doherty/Morgan Ribeiro

She went under the knife on 5 January, and within just three days, she and James were given permission to return home to South London.

It was during their return Wizz Air flight, however, that the youngster's health took a startling turn for the worst, and she went into septic shock.

James later told press: "The flight attendant gave her some ice and water and she was finding it hard to breathe so they took her to the front of the plane where there was more space, they tried to give her an oxygen mask.

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"I could tell something was seriously wrong."

The plane was in turn diverted to the Serbian capital of Belgrade, where Morgan was rushed to a hospital to be treated.

Doctors quickly discovered that her small intestine had been punctured during the surgery in Turkey, where 10cm of the intestine was removed, which triggered a severe infection.

Morgan died following a heart attack. Credit: Facebook/Kerry O’Doherty/Morgan Ribeiro
Morgan died following a heart attack. Credit: Facebook/Kerry O’Doherty/Morgan Ribeiro
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Despite best efforts from medical staff, on 9 Jan - just four days after going under the knife - Morgan suffered a heart attack and tragically died.

Since then, her devastated family have been using their story to warn others against undergoing cheap surgery abroad.

"By the time I found out it was too late, she was already on the plane," the mum-of-five Erin told the Independent.

"I had that sinking feeling because I'd heard horror stories about Turkey. I never ever want this to happen to another daughter. I don't want her life to be in vain."

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A fundraiser has since been set up in Morgan's memory, with the online page, written by Erin, describing her as 'loving, she was an artist, a drama queen, just like me, and she was beautiful inside and out'.

The post continued: "She was outgoing, silly, friendly and loving. She loved singing and caring for others - and she worked closely with children."

Topics: Beauty, Health, Travel, UK News

Rhianna Benson
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