Houston Woman Charged in 2018 with Death of St. Louis Woman by Cosmetic Surgery | St. Louis News Headlines


ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – It’s been three years for Calvin and Melvin Arnold, but the memories of their late niece Marja McClendon are once again strengthened.

“If Marja was in the room, you knew she was in the room. she was very outgoing, funny, loved to dance, ”Calvin Arnold said.

McClendon, 39, was considered the life of the party and a wonderful parent to her three children.

“We have never given up on getting justice for Marja,” said Melvin Arnold.

McClendon died on April 30, 2018, days after traveling from St. Louis to Houston to receive silicone injections in his butt. It was a procedure she was used to, but the family, including Calvin and Melvin, cautioned her against it.

“The last conversation I had with her, she told me she was getting it all over again,” Calvin Arnold said.

At the time, they were unaware that an unlicensed cosmetic surgeon, Lisa Fernandez, 47, performed the procedure. Harris County court documents indicate that McClendon underwent her first surgery around April 27, 2018. Fernandez allegedly injected her with a substance that is believed to be silicone knowing she was not authorized to possess the substance.

McClendon experienced a number of reactions, including coughing up blood and shortness of breath, and Fernandez had to stop the procedure several times. Fernandez refused to reimburse McClendon and eventually McClendon continued with his second round of silicone injections in the buttocks. McClendon ended up being hospitalized in Houston. She then returned to Saint-Louis, where she was again hospitalized and died.

“It cost him his life and it’s not worth it,” Calvin Arnold said.

Fernandez was arrested in Houston on Tuesday for a traffic violation. Police said she did not have a driver’s license with her. While in custody, Harris County prosecutors said she confessed to McClendon’s death in 2018. She now faces one count of manslaughter.

KHOU-TV reports that St. Louis Metropolitan Police are also investigating Fernandez. A spokesperson for the SLMPD responded to News 4 saying they do not “publish or confirm any suspicious information about an incident unless warrants have been issued against the suspect.” They were also unable to immediately locate the charges against her in their jurisdiction.

“Injecting silicone into the body is a no,” said Dr Filiberto Rodriguez. “They don’t even allow silicone injections in the face anymore.”

Rodriguez is a board-certified cosmetic surgeon in South Texas who has worked directly with patients to correct similar illegal cosmetic procedures performed by unlicensed providers like Fernandez.

“I don’t know if it’s getting easier for them, but I know they are getting more and more emboldened. Because every time one is arrested another appears, ”Rodriguez said.

He warns that people looking for body transforming surgeries may be susceptible to black market procedures if they don’t watch for red flags in what they’re being sold.

“If you’re not asked to sign an informed consent and you can’t find that person on your state medical board’s website, these are huge red flags,” he said. “Second, if they don’t have a clean office and it doesn’t look like a doctor’s office, that should be a wake-up call. “

Calvin and Melvin Arnold have said Fernandez’s arrest brings them closer to closure, although it brought back harsh memories of the day he died.

“It was like reliving his death again,” Calvin Arnold said. “My heart went out to the children, how are they going to come to terms with this now by dealing with it all again. I can only imagine what they are going through right now.

Still, they hope anyone considering a cosmetic procedure can take a look at what their niece and family have been through since then and consider the costs it might entail for them.

“My message to them is not to do it. If you know the pain that you can possibly cause a family and the pain that has devastated that family, I highly recommend that you think twice, ”Calvin Arnold said. “If you’re going to do it, make sure you do it with a professional. “

Fernandez currently has $ 40,000 bail after appearing in court Wednesday in Harris County. She cannot perform body modification procedures or serve as a beauty consultant under the terms of her bond.

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