Dr. Geoffrey Kim, 52, admitted he didn’t call 911 for five hours after then 18-year-old Emmalyn Nguyen went into cardiac arrest when she was given anesthesia by nurse Rex Meeker on August 1, 2019.
A jury found him guilty of attempted reckless manslaughter and guilty of obstructing a telephone after he failed to call for help but not guilty of the most serious charge, attempted reckless homicide.
Kim, who was seen visibly dejected upon hearing the verdict, will be sentenced on September 8. He faces anywhere from probation to three years in prison.
The charge he was acquitted on was considered the most serious offense, with Kim facing one to three years in prison had he been convicted.
Dr. Geoffrey Kim, 52, reacts after he was found guilty on attempted manslaughter charges over the death of a 19-year-old patient who died 14 months after he botched her breast surgery
Kim’s defense team blamed anesthetist Rex Meeker for the death of Nguyen, claiming he gave her a toxic blend of drugs before surgery, including enough fentanyl to stop her heart, according to the Denver Post.
Meeker initially faced manslaughter charges but had them dropped in exchange for testimony at trial, according to 9news.
Last week, he argued that Kim wouldn’t let him call 911 for over five hours, KDVR reported.
Both Kim and Meeker have already been forced to pay the Nguyen family $1million each in a wrongful death settlement.
Meeker gave up his license to administer anesthesia though he still has his medical license.
Nguyen was left braindead and couldn’t speak or walk after the surgery and died 14 months later.
Her parents, Lynn Fam and Sonny Nguyen, told KDVR in December 2019 that their daughter wanted breast implants to shore up her self-image after graduating from high school.
The teen, who was 18 at the time, had saved $6,000 for the surgery and was said to have been in good health at the time.
Kim admitted he didn’t call 911 for five hours after Emmalyn Nguyen (pictured) went into cardiac arrest when she was given anesthesia
Kim will be sentenced on September 8. He faces anywhere from probation to three years in prison
Nguyen was left braindead and couldn’t speak or walk after the surgery and died 14 months later
The family lawyer, David Woodruff, said that Emmalyn ‘was left unobserved. No one watched her for about 15 minutes. A nurse comes into the room and finds her blue.’
During the over five hours Emmalyn was lying on the operating table, Woodruff said that mom Lynn was sitting in the waiting room, not knowing about her daughter’s condition.
Lynn told the news station that at one point, the doctor came out to tell her that she wouldn’t be able to check on her daughter.
‘She’s doing fine and she’s young, maybe that’s the reason why she’s taking longer to wake up,’ Lynn said that doctor told her.
Woodruff said that when the medics arrived, they used CPR to try to revive Emmalyn, but she didn’t regain consciousness.
Kim’s defense team blamed anesthetist Rex Meeker (pictured) for the death of Nguyen, claiming he gave her a toxic blend of drugs before surgery, including enough fentanyl to stop her heart. Meeker testified against Kim at trial
Emmalyn (in bed) is pictured at the nursing home with her parents, Lynn Fam (right) and Sonny Nguyen (left). She was fed via tube and hooked up to an oxygen machine to breathe
Nguyen, 19, died on October 4 after catching pneumonia at her nursing home. She had been in a vegetative state since August 2019, following breast surgery gone wrong
Her brain injury meant that she was unable to talk, walk or feed herself, so she was placed in a nursing home to get round-the-clock care. She had to be fed through a tube and have an oxygen machine breathed for her.
Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office Captain of Investigations, Travis Stewart, told the New York Post: ‘The investigation has taken more than two years to complete and involved dozens of interviews and search warrants.
‘Our hope is that this will be the beginning of bringing justice and a sense of closure to Emmalyn’s family.’
Prior to her death, Woodruff said that Emmalyn was showing signs of progress, was able to smile at times and was medically stable, CBS Denver reported.
The family said that Meeker didn’t administer Emmalyn’s anesthesia properly and then failed to keep track of her condition. Kim, meanwhile, was said to have performed a resuscitation attempt.
Emmalyn’s (pictured) brain injury meant that she couldn’t walk or talk or feed herself and needed 24-hour care. She was showing signs of progress before she died
The family lawyer, David Woodruff, said that Emmalyn ‘was left unobserved. No one watched her for about 15 minutes. A nurse comes into the room and finds her blue’
In the eventual 911 call, Meeker can be heard saying, ‘She’s not conscious. We’ve evaluated her. We’ve estimated a Glasgow score of 6 or 7.’
Anywhere from three to eight on the Glasgow scale indicates a patient is comatose.
Colorado state records from prior to Emmalyn’s case showed that Kim had not had any previous disciplinary action taken against him.
Meeker was said to have been sued in 2009, after a woman sustained brain damage and died while undergoing breast implant surgery. Meeker was the nurse anesthetist in that case. It was settled in 2012.