WESTON — Rohie Kah-Orukotan, a Miramar woman on life support at Cleveland Clinic after liposuction at a beauty clinic, never anticipated such an outcome, a close friend said Thursday.
“This is an educated lady,” said Clara Thompson, a nurse at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. “If she thought for a second this would happen, she would not have done this.”
Kah-Orukotan, 37, was declared brain dead sometime after Dr. Omar J. Brito Marin performed the procedure Sept. 25 at Weston Medspa. Her family is wrestling with the decision to remove her from life support, their spokesman said Thursday.
“During this sad time, the family is preparing to make the most difficult decision that someone could be faced with in life,” said Chuck Malkus, the spokesman.
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The case is the subject of an investigation by the Broward Sheriff’s Office and a probe by the Florida Department of Health.
Thompson, 44, of North Miami Beach, and Kah-Orukotan met in a nurses’ master’s program at Florida International University and have been close friends ever since.
Kah-Orukotan, who emigrated from Gambia, in Africa, about a decade ago, worked as a nurse in the psychiatric unit at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah.
She was fiercely dedicated to her patients, Thompson said, and even more dedicated to her three small children.
“Her children were first, always,” Thompson said. “We were in study groups and she said, ‘I have to go home to my children.’ That’s what is most devastating to me.”
Thompson said Kah-Orukotan was a regular customer at the Weston spa for massages, manicures and facials. She knew the liposuction last Friday would cause some discomfort, so she had another friend drive her to the spa.
Weston Medspa is not licensed to perform full liposuctions, but only a scaled-down version.
Brito’s attorney, Brian Bieber, said Brito did not know about the license and that he was not responsible for Kah-Orukotan’s severe reaction. Bieber said he did not know what type of liposuction was performed.
Thompson doesn’t know specifics, either, and is too choked up to dwell on them.
“We support each other. She was there for me when her father died, and my niece died, my aunt died,” she said. “She was a very, very caring person, very supportive.”