Gulf Breeze plastic surgeon Ben Brown arrested, charged with death of wife, Hillary Brown (2024)

Gulf Breeze plastic surgeon Ben Brown has been charged with the death of his wife, 33-year-old Hillary Brown, who died after she went into cardiac arrest while he was performing several procedures on her in his office, Restore Plastic Surgery, last November.

The Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office arrested Brown for second degree felony homicide: manslaughter by culpable negligence. He is currently being held in the Santa Rosa County Jail pending first appearance where a bond will be determined by a judge and State Attorney’s Office. The 41-year-old plastic surgeon turned himself in on Monday morning after an arrest warrant was signed by a judge on Friday. He was booked into the Santa Rosa County Jail and was not given bond.

A Florida Health Department investigation revealed Brown reportedly waited to call 911 after she became unresponsive in his surgical chair.

They say he also waited at least 10 to 20 minutes before beginning CPR, he did not have life-saving equipment readily available in his office when her heart stopped and he did not follow proper medical protocol when administering sedatives, like lidocaine, which ultimately lead to her death.

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Who was the wife of Dr. Ben Brown?

The arrest comes as a relief for Marty Ellington, who blames his daughter’s husband for her death and wants justice for her and the three children she leaves behind.

"My family lives in a sea of tears for eternity due to the actions of one careless individual," said Ellington. "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."

Gulf Breeze plastic surgeon Ben Brown arrested, charged with death of wife, Hillary Brown (2)

On May 2, the Florida Department of Health issued an emergency order restricting Ben Brown’s medical license to only performing procedures or surgeries in a licensed hospital while under the supervision of a licensed physician. State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph A. Ladapo said Brown’s “inability or unwillingness” to follow basic medical procedure presents an “immediate serious danger to the health, welfare, and safety of the public” and to the citizens of the state of Florida.

The health department has also asked the Florida Board of Medicine to impose one or more penalties on Brown for violating several state statutes related to his treatment of patients and his wife, as well as allowing Hillary to perform procedures on patients without a license. The health department said Brown's behavior fell below the minimum standard of medical care, and that he failed to keep accurate and complete medical records, performed unauthorized procedures, and allowed an unlicensed person to practice medicine.

How did Hillary Brown die?

The state’s decision was based on several factors including its investigation into Hillary Brown’s death. According to the emergency order, Ben Brown disregarded basic medical procedure and care when preforming procedures on his wife, like waiting 10 to 20 minutes before calling 911 when his wife became unresponsive.

The state found that on Nov. 21, 2023, Hillary Brown was undergoing a miniature muscle plication/abdominal scar revision, bilateral arm liposuction, lip injection and ear adjustment procedures when she showed signs of lidocaine toxicity.

The state said Hillary, who is not a licensed medical professional, was allowed to prepare and take her own anesthesia solution prior to the procedures Brown performed on her and that she showed signs of lidocaine toxicity during the surgery before she became unresponsive, but Brown continued to administer lidocaine and operate on her.

Staff eventually called 911, but Hillary Ellington Brown was taken off life support Nov. 28, 2023, about a week later.

In the findings of fact in the 30-page order, the health department also describesnumerous violations of basic standards of medical carethat constitute “medical malpractice,” including performing unauthorized procedures on patients like Brazilian butt lifts, not following sterility protocols, and performing poor work on patients that led to infections and improper wound care.

Ellington said his daughter was unhappy in many ways being married to Brown and when she was on life-support in the hospital, he said Brown seemed more concerned about money than her life.

“Apparently his insurance was cancelled on Nov. 30, and he sent me a text to make sure that I was with the plan to send her to hospice either before or after that date,” explained Ellington. “He sent me a text that we need to make sure that her time of death is before the 30th because the insurance benefits go away and my grandkids wouldn't get some of the life insurance.

“I'm not even worried about money,” Marty Ellington continued. “My daughter's laying in here, and we keep being hopeful that she's going to pull through but all he was worried about was the time of death being before the 30th and that he was going to sell everything and file bankruptcy and go buy a new vehicle before his credit tanked. I thought, ‘Oh, my God, I don't want to hear all this. My daughter’s laying here, that’s all that is on my mind right now. I want people to know this is how he is.”

Ellington said he was also appalled that Brown sold some of his wife's things on social media so soon after her death, including skiing equipment, which he believes shows his lack of remorse.

Numerous lawsuits have been filed against Brown in both Santa Rosa and Escambia County court from businesses trying to collecting on outstanding debts. According to court documents, Brown lost his office property in the Tiger Point area of Gulf Breeze to foreclosure.

Brown has not returned calls for comment, but a previous statement released by his crisis management public relations team said he denied accusations of wrongdoing.

“Dr. Brown continues to live an endless nightmare without his wife Hillary by his side, and these inaccurate allegations only further deepen his immense pain,” the emailed statement said.

Gulf Breeze plastic surgeon Ben Brown arrested, charged with death of wife, Hillary Brown (2024)

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