Laura Avila, a real estate agent from Dallas, Texas, was just one of many young, American women who planned for a new type of dream vacation in Mexico.
Instead of enjoying the sun and sand, Avila hoped to get plastic surgery - specifically a nose job - south of the border.
In fact "medical tourism" to the country is a big business. As Avila's sister Angie explained, operations south of the border cost "less than a third" of their prices in America.
But Avila's surgery at a "Rinocenter" in Juarez on October 30 went terribly wrong, and her family is crowdfunding to cover her expensive medical bills.
Avila's fiance, Enrique Cruz, told WFAA that the first sign of trouble came after a clinic employee administered anesthesia to Avila.
"I was kind of getting upset and worried because they would not let me see her or anything," he explained.
When clinic employees finally showed Cruz his fiance eight hours later, he understood why they had kept him in the dark.
"They injected anesthesia in her spine at the clinic and instead of flowing down her body, it went into her brain which caused severe swelling," Angie claimed.
A doctor from a nearby hospital was called to treat Avila, and had her rushed to the ER.
"That's when they told us oh by the way she had a cardiac arrest," Cruz remembered. Avila's family later learned her heart had stopped for four minutes.
Avila’s family say she spent six days in Juarez while they fought to have her brought home, because hospital officials in Mexico refused to transfer her until Avila’s medical bills were paid.
"The hospital basically held us hostage because we wouldn't pay the full amount," Angie said.
Doctors in El Paso quickly diagnosed that Avila had suffered serious brain damage, and told her family she would never be the same.
While Avila's family says she has since moved her hands and opened her eyes, doctors insist she needs immediate surgery to restore some of her bodily functions.
The only other option, they say, is to take Avila off life support.
To make matters worse, her family says Avila has been turned away from three Dallas hospitals because she is uninsured.
Now, her family say they are "praying for a miracle," while their attorney hopes to get justice for Avila.
Chihuahua’s State Attorney General’s Office has launched its own investigation into the center where Avila was treated, according to a report in El Mexicano.
You can donate to Avila's family and help cover her medical bills on her GoFundme page.