Gastonia woman claims botched eye surgery left her scarred for life

Imagine waking up during a surgery. That’s exactly what happened to one Gastonia woman.

“I woke during the procedure and I can feel him cutting on me,” Andrea Edwards-Ross said.

A simple eye procedure turned into nightmare for Edwards-Ross.

“It felt like someone was taking a knife and slicing my eye open,” she told FOX 46.

She says she woke up during a surgery that was meant to fix her drooping eyelid.

It happened in 2015, but she’s still dealing with the effects of three surgery attempts from the same doctor.

“He did the first one March 27th, he did the second one April 23rd, he did the last one May 27th,” she said.

According to Edwards-Ross’ medical records, Doctor Briggs Cook, with Pure Facial Plastic Surgery and Medspa, performed the same surgery each time.

Edwards-Ross says none of them worked, yet two surgical operative notes say there were “no complications” and the “patient tolerated the procedure well.”

It wasn’t exactly how Edwards-Ross remembers it.

“I was screaming and yelling and fighting,” she said.

She filed a complaint with the North Carolina Medical Board.

“They just said they didn’t think he did anything negligent,” she said.

FOX 46 looked into Cook’s background to find just over four months later, Doctor Cook gave a patient a potentially fatal dosage of anesthesia. Another patient, according to the NC Medical Board, died following a revision surgery. Cook listed her cause of death as “cardiac arrest” even though it notes he should have requested an autopsy.

“Maybe if the board would have listened to my complaint and did a thorough investigation,” she said, “maybe nobody else would have had to go through the pain and suffering that I went through.”

Edwards-Ross says attorneys won’t take her case.

Walter Bowers Jr. with Wooden Bowers Law said, “Medical malpractice is a very challenging area of law. It’s also challenging because they have to find another person or another doctor who would be willing to come forward to say, ‘hey, my colleague did, in fact, breach a standard of care and it caused this person harm.’”

The NC Medical Board tells FOX 46 they won’t reopen her complaint unless there’s new information.

“I don’t want to look like this,” Edwards-Ross said. “I’m tired of people looking at me, wanting to know what happened to me. I feel like a monster.”

Doctor Cook never responded to multiple requests for an interview.

FOX 46 wants to get results for patients. If you would like to see if your doctor has any marks on his or her record, click here.

Type in your doctor’s first and last name. On the next page, click on the “actions” tab. Anything that pops up after that might be worth a read.