MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – South Florida has seen an increase in the number of unlicensed and unregulated homes advertising post-operative care as more people travel to South Florida seeking invasive cosmetic procedures.
Local 10 investigative reporter has learned staying in these homes can come with serious risks.
“I literally passed out maybe six or seven times within 24 hours,” said Crystal Beachum. “And no one said like, ‘hey, let’s get this girl to a hospital.’ Who knows, I probably would have bled out if I waited just one more day.”
Beachum spoke out about her frightening experience at a surgical recovery house after flying to South Florida for a cosmetic procedure in October.
She said she feels lucky to be alive after booking a stay at a property called Virginia’s Recovery House. She said she was unaware this property, and many like it, are unlicensed with no qualified medical staff.
“They did advertise that it would be a nurse at the facility and there was not a registered nurse at the facility,” she added.
The home, a luxurious five-bedroom property in the heart of Coral Gables, promoted itself online as the number one recovery house in Miami.
Local 10 News learned the woman running the house, Virginia Humphries, was renting it. Sources said she failed to pay rent at the property and another home she was operating just blocks away. When the owner threatened eviction, she quickly moved out.
Beachum said despite the elegant surroundings there was little care or concern when she began to suffer serious complications, bleeding excessively and losing consciousness several times.
“‘This is normal, drink water,’” she said she was instructed. “‘Here’s a martini that had Benadryl and like Tylenol,’ and all that did was make me go to sleep.”
She said her concerns were ignored.
“I might need to go to the hospital, and they were like, ‘Just rough it out one more night,’ and I was like, ‘No, I’m not feeling well,’” she said.
Beachum said she left the house just in time.
At the hospital, she said doctors immediately gave her two blood transfusions and told her, “You lost over half the blood in your body, So everything is pumping harder right now to try to accommodate for all the blood loss that you had.”
Local 10 tried to reach Humphries at several phone numbers listed but she did not return calls or messages. Her Instagram page was still active, but the website for the recovery house was pulled down. What’s more, Beachum said while she was in the hospital, the caretakers in the home went out partying and left the recovering patients alone.
“The staff left to go to the nightclub for 14 hours, and the ladies were there without zero help,” she said, “I was at the hospital, but the ladies were calling me and they were like, ‘Good thing you’re at the hospital because they left us here alone.’”
An eye-opening experience for Beachum. She says she reported the home to Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration which opened a complaint and said it would send an inspector. As of now, the operation has moved on.
“So they need to be aware that this recovery house don’t have the resources, or the knowledge or equipment for anything that could go wrong,” she said.
AHCA told Local 10 it had no record of a licensed facility at that address.