Patient Wakes Up To Find Post Surgery Prank — On Her Face

shutterstock_130110392__1378742338_74.134.205.46Veronica Valdez had a minor operation on October 11, 2011 and when she woke up she discovered that the anesthesiologist had created a mustache and drawn yellow tears on her face while she was under anesthesia. Now, I’m sure Veronica has an okay sense of humor but if anyone pulled this prank on me I’d be pissed as hell. Surgery, no matter how minor is scary! Being put under is scary! Veronica obviously feels the same way because she is suing the hospital. From The Huffington Post:

A Southern California hospital is under fire after a former patient and employee has come forward with a humiliating photo taken while she was anesthetized for a procedure in Oct. 2011.

Veronica Valdez, 27, is suing Torrance Memorial Hospital because an anesthesiologist took the liberty of decorating her face with a mustache and teardrops while she was unconscious. A nursing attendant then snapped a photo of Valdez’s face, which was seen around the medical office where Valdez also used to work.

In the lawsuit, Valdez says that her humiliation over the photo grew so intense that she eventually had to step down from her job. Now, two years later, she’s suing the hospital to make sure patients never have to go through a similar experience.

According to the article, the picture of Veronica was even plastered all over Facebook.The article also states that Veronica was pals with the anesthesiologist who did this to her, and he has since been disciplined. I really can’t blame her for being pissy about this. I can’t think of anytime you are more vulnerable as when you are out and a doctor is operating on you. It doesn’t instill a ton of confidence thinking that your medical team are a bunch of jokesters.

(Image:  beerkoff/shutterstock)

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    • Krusticle

      What a shame. However, I just had ankle surgery at Torrance Memorial a few weeks ago, and the entire hospital staff could not have been more professional, friendly and caring. I hope this was just a one-off experience.

    • anna

      There is so much trust involved in being put under. I remember being put under when I was 12 for a ruptured appendix and woke up with my pants down (because of the surgery, but I didn’t expect it) I was so embarrassed in my sleepy 12 year state, I can’t imagine if some one pulled an actual prank on me

    • cheese101

      Sounds like she is looking for a payday, nothing more.

    • Fear fighter

      The problem is the person putting her under was a friend or pal….so…were they in on it together or was this merely a bad joke on a friend and the pal underestimated her response to the joke? Hmmmmm

    • Barbara Bethany

      Sounds like she needs to lighten the f^$# up. It was her friend…. I’m sure she wasn’t THAT tramatized

    • dadelaus2013

      How wrong can people commenting that
      she should have a sense of humor be? Everyone being anesthetized puts their
      life and dignity in the hands of those trained professionals to A) complete a
      responsible, competent, and conscientious job that they otherwise could not do.
      The fact that the patient is “Under” gives NO license for those
      professionals to denigrate and vandalize our persons. …How would others like
      it if the gardener made graffiti on their lawns, or mechanic painted their cars
      with disparaging remarks? B) Doesn’t the hospitals/professional organizations have
      us the patients sign strict disclosure forms and releases to absolve them of things
      going wrong in surgery? Shouldn’t we expect a modicum of dignity going into and
      coming out of the same institutions?

      This is what is driving up the cost of
      health care…Forcing our public to enact watchdog agencies to prevent sophomoric
      stunts happening by our learned and highly trained professionals we put the
      public trust in.

      I hope she has them prosecuted to the fullest extent and gets the maximum payout for her humiliation! Just to send a message to this childish mindset posing as mature professionals!

      • ladyrideraz

        Oh please! She couldn’t work because of this? Give me a break! Sure it wasn’t funny to her but still cmon – a lawsuit for millions and claiming she is too traumatized to work? Totally ridiculous. I had a breast removed and wasn’t told that they had to remove it until I got home and took the bandages off. THAT’S trauma but guess what? I looked in shock in the mirror for about 15 minutes, wiped off my tears,went to the store and got a falsie and moved the hell on with my life.

      • dadelaus2013

        1) I was unaware this Dr. was a “Friend” of her’s, maybe she is over reacting a bit. But…if someone doesn’t report this lout for taking the time out of his professionalism to “Paint faces” then whose breasts will come off next?

        Your saying you just looked in the mirror for 15 minutes went down to the corner store and got a falsie is scary indeed. Remind me never to have any kind of surgery near you or your hospital…There is something deep seated in that denial

    • Rick

      Chill the hell out!!! The answer to EVERY issue is NOT to sue!! Our courts are clogged enough as it is. I was a F@#$ing joke! He was disciplined! Get over it!

    • voodoochild1975

      She was so embarrassed that a friend drew a moustache on her while she was out, that she had to quit her job?


      Until I got to that point I was on this woman’s side. I’d bet the truth is, she was minorly irked when it happened, if at all since a friend had done it, and then saw a fat paycheck after a lawyer talked to her.

      Sympathy went out the window as soon I read she just couldn’t work because of this ‘trauma’. If this ‘trauma’ is sufficient to cause someone to be unable to work and hold a job, I am going to argue that this person has much deeper seated issues than reacting to a friend’s prank. I think the hospital was in the wrong, but again, it was a friend doing this to a friend… I can maybe see some kind of suit, but the ‘I want millions because I can’t hold a job now’ completely turned me against her.

      • ladyrideraz


    • exGF

      That sounds funny and she needs to relax.