A Melbourne mother has told of the horrific condition her deceased son was left in after undergoing $35,000 worth of cosmetic surgery in Malaysia.
Hours after Leigh Aiple landed in Australia, he was dead.
His mother, Grace Muscat, was left speechless when she saw the burst stitches and leaking wounds obtained from two gruelling surgeries at the Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur.
"When he came home, there were gaping holes, there was stitching everywhere," she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I didn't want to pull a face so he wouldn't get upset, when I saw it, I thought 'Oh my god'."
Now, a coroner is investigating the 31-year-old’s tragic death.
Mr Aiple had booked the trip on a mission to change his life after he lost a significant amount of weight.
Described as a shy man, he had been bullied as a kid and wanted to undergo surgery to remove his loose skin and booked the trip overseas.
Ms Muscat said her son sent her emails complaining of swelling to his leg and describing terrifying blackouts.
On May 9, 2014, two days before he flew home, he wrote:
"I blacked out yesterday in the bathroom and woke up on the bathroom floor, lying in my own diarrhoea.
"I started hyperventilating and couldn't breathe. My chest was tight and heartbeat was dangerously rapid ... I've had no energy for four days now.
"They don't seem able to solve my issues here, they just say 'I've never seen your kind of case before'. It's a little scary hearing that."
Mr Aiple landed in Melbourne on Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014 with a doctors appointment scheduled for the following day.
He never made it, as Ms Muscat discovered her son clawing at his chest struggling to breath, SMH reported.
The ambulance didn’t make it in time, and the heart-broken mother told her son that she loved him as he took his last breath.
A coroner found that Mr Aiple had died of a blood clot that travelled from his calf to his lung, with the recent surgery and airplane travel contributing to his death.
Maurice Blackburn medical lawyer Kathryn Booth said Mr Aiple was unfit to fly.
"By flying home after surgery there is a real increased risk of pulmonary embolism and indeed that's the risk that eventuated," she said.
"People don't believe when they undertake cosmetic surgery that the risk is going to eventuate for them but for some people things do go wrong and the higher the number of procedures, the greater the risk."
On the first anniversary of Mr Aiple's death, his brother, known as Tank, wrote a heartfelt tribute.
"Seems like yesterday we were only yelling at each other and then having a laugh after it! Go Hard where you are and never look back. You are truly free!"
A Beverly Wilshire spokesperson said they were conducting a full investigation and will provide an explanation with the case has concluded.
News break – April 7