Plastic Surgeon’s Wife Died On His Operating Table — Now It’s A Homicide Case!

A plastic surgeon has been charged with homicide after his own wife died during one of his operations.

On Monday, Dr. Benjamin Brown was officially charged with second degree felony homicide: manslaughter by culpable negligence, according to Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office. The charges are in relation to his wife’s death during a surgery he was performing on her seven months ago.

Back in November 2023, Hillary Ellington Brown succumbed to complications from procedures she had done at her husband’s Restore Plastic Surgery clinic in Gulf Breeze, Florida. The 33-year-old’s death was suspicious right away, but it wasn’t until May that an order of emergency restriction of Dr. Brown’s medical license was filed in the state — and the filing revealed the horrific details about what really went down leading up to her death.

Related: 30-Year-Old Woman Dies From Complications Of ‘Mommy Makeover’ Surgery In Mexico

Hillary was reported to be undergoing multiple surgeries including scar revision, arm liposuction, as well as lip and face injections. Docs stated she took a “handful” of pills ahead of her operations, which included Valium and Tramadol to induce “effects of sedation”. She even “prepared her own IV bags” and helped out by “suturing the skin back together” after her scar revision. But this is where everything went wrong.

The medical board reported Hillary “became restless and her feet began twitching” during the operation. Things got worse when she experienced blurriness in her vision as her husband performed liposuction on her arms. At this point the surgeon began injecting “more concentrated” solutions of lidocaine into his wife’s face and lips — witnesses, however, claim he was injecting her with undiluted Xylocaine. After this, his wife’s symptoms worsened even further, and she claimed she could only see “orange”. How horrifying…

This would probably be a good time to stop and check on her, right? Obviously if she’s struggling this much and complaining about her vision, something is wrong! Maybe stop the injections? Well, that’s not what Dr. Brown did. He kept going, per the docs, and poor Hillary eventually had a seizure. Not only that, he allegedly refused help and kept going even after she became unresponsive! The medical board wrote:

“A medical assistant asked Dr. Brown if they should call 911 and Dr. Brown said ‘no.’ Over the next 10-20 minutes, a medical assistant asked Dr. Brown if they should call 911 and Dr. Brown said ‘no,’ or ‘wait.’ The medical assistant was scared and a new employee, so she did as Dr. Brown instructed.”

The medical board’s filings state she should have immediately been transferred to a higher level of care, but her husband kept refusing. It wasn’t until 10-20 minutes after her vitals started declining did Dr. Brown start asking what medication she took. Remember, he was reportedly the one that administered it!

Hillary’s “breaths were shallow, and her pulse and blood oxygen levels were low” when he finally gave permission for the med assistants to call 911, but it was just too late. He performed CPR, but she remained unresponsive, and died on life support a week later of lidocaine toxicity.

Filings made by the Department of Health read:

“The level of disregard Dr. Brown paid to patient safety, even when the patient was his wife, indicates that Dr. Brown is unwilling or incapable of providing the appropriate level of care to his future patients.”

The plastic surgeon is being held on a $50,000 bond. If convicted for the death of his wife, he faces a $10,000 fine and life imprisonment. You can see his mugshot (below):

Dr. Benjamin Brown plastic surgeon mugshot
(c) Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office

Hillary’s dad Marty Ellington made a statement to the Pensacola News Journal on behalf of the victim’s family, sharing they live “in a sea of tears for eternity due to the actions of one careless individual”:

“His ego and arrogance overshadowed the need for help, prolonging oxygen deprivation to her brain and ultimately causing her death. Ben Brown took the mother from my grandchildren, my only daughter and our brightest star. Hillary gave the ultimate sacrifice so Ben Brown cannot hurt anyone else. Maybe in prison, he will get the attention he deserves.”

An absolutely heartbreaking situation, it just seems like there’s so much that could’ve been done to save her. Our hearts go out to Hillary’s family. May she rest in peace.

[Image via Hillary Ellington Brown/Instagram]

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