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Florida Plastic Surgeon Failed to Call 911 as Wife Suffered Seizures While He Operated on Her, Leading to Her Death: Officials

The surgeon's assistant had allegedly repeatedly asked him if she should call for help, according to the emergency restrictiond document.
Cover Image Source: YouTube/WEAR Channel 3 News
Cover Image Source: YouTube/WEAR Channel 3 News

A husband's alleged actions during his wife's cosmetic surgery may have led to her death, police claim.

Dr. Benjamin Brown, a plastic surgeon from Florida, was operating on his wife Hillary Ellington Brown, when she became unresponsive, People reported.

She reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be put on life support.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr.
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr.

The operation took place at Restore Plastic Surgery in Gulf Breeze on November 28, 2023. Benjamin Brown had previously done many procedures on his wife such as scar revision, arm liposuction, and lip and face injections, People reported.

The order of emergency restriction document that the Florida Department of Health filed contains the alleged details about the operation that led to Hillary Brown's death. 


For the surgery, Hillary Brown had prepared the IV bags, People reported. Before going into the procedure, she had also consumed a “handful” of pills, according to the document. As her husband started the scar revision and muscle plication procedures, Hillary's condition began to worsen on the operation table, according to the documents.

Hillary's feet were twitching, and she informed her husband that her vision was blurring according to the document, People reported. Eventually, the patient became unresponsive and started having a seizure.

The document claimed that Benjamin Brown did not document the anesthetic medication he gave the patient during the operation. He asked his assistant to contact emergency care only 10-20 minutes after his wife's seizure, according to the allegations.


“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 a new employee, who was scared, and so she did, as Dr. Brown instructed,” the order of emergency restriction document claimed.

Hillary was then transferred to the Ascension Sacred Heart Emergency Care Department for treatment. She was placed on life support and breathed her last on November 28, 2023, exactly seven days after the operation, People reported.

The cause of death was determined to be “complications following lidocaine toxicity,” according to the document. 


On November 21, 2023, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Deputies reached Restore Plastic Surgery in response to a medical emergency. An extensive investigation was launched by the County Sheriff's House, District One Medical Examiner’s Office, and the State Attorney’s Office.

"SRSO investigators frequently conduct death investigations when the death was unexpected or the death occurs under unusual circumstances," Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office FL said. After the investigation, a warrant was requested for the arrest of Dr. Benjamin Brown.

He was charged with second-degree felony homicide: manslaughter by culpable negligence, the Sheriff's Office stated. Benjamin Brown recently turned himself in to authorities, the New York Post reported. He was placed in custody in the SRSO Jail on a bond of $50,000.

The medical board has called the surgeon's actions “careless and haphazard,” the New York Post reported The organization also stated that Benjamin Brown's alleged conduct during the operation implies that he “has poor judgment and cannot be trusted to ensure that his patients receive appropriate care.” 

“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 board stated, the New York Post reported. 

In May 2024, Benjamin's medical license was partially restricted by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), Pensacola News Journal reported.


Hillary's family members are relieved to hear that Benjamin is behind bars, Pensacola News Journal reported.

"My family lives in a sea of tears for eternity due to the actions of one careless individual," said Hillary's father, Marty Ellington. "His ego and arrogance overshadowed the need for help, prolonging oxygen deprivation to her brain and ultimately causing her death."

"Hillary gave the ultimate sacrifice so Ben Brown cannot hurt anyone else. Maybe in prison, he will get the attention he deserves," the father added.

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