It was supposed to be no big deal when California man Marek Lapinski went to have his wisdom teeth pulled last month.
But the 24-year-old died after going into cardiac arrest during the routine procedure, and his family is questioning whether a lack of care led to his shocking death.
“Our lives are ruined,” Lapinski’s mom, April, told NBC 7 San Diego in an interview Tuesday. “We don’t have him, and he was the center of all of our lives.”
Lapinski, a vice president at a 3D technology company in San Diego, had “no health issues,” his mother said.
Medical records provided by Lapinski’s family reportedly reveal the Murrieta man began coughing during the March 21 surgery and was given propofol.
The powerful anesthetic is the same drug that Michael Jackson was given shortly before his death in 2009.
April Lapinski said her son went into cardiac arrest after he was injected with propofol.
He was taken to the hospital, where he died. An ambulance report indicated that a piece of gauze was also found in his airway.
A pulmonary doctor at the hospital indicated the young patient may have suffered an overdose, April Lapinski said.
The family is awaiting the results of an autopsy.
Lapinski's sister said it appears he was given at least six different sedatives, and, at one point, he may have been without oxygen for 10 minutes.
The office of Dr. Steven Paul, who performed the surgery. The dentist has yet to comment, but his attorney released a statement saying "all standard protocols" were followed and that "no surgical procedure is without risk."
“He wasn’t going in for open heart surgery or something,” Natalie Lapinski, a nurse, told NBC 7.
Dr. Steven Paul, the oral surgeon who performed the procedure, didn’t immediately comment about what happened during surgery.
His attorney said in a release that the doctor provides “state of the art services and monitoring for his patients,” although “no surgical procedure is without risk.”
He also said that “all standard protocols” were followed.
But that’s not enough of an explanation for Natalie Lapinski, who said her brother was already on edge before the surgery.
“He was so scared to get this done,” she told Fox affiliate KSWB-TV. “That morning, he texted me and said, ‘I’m going in. I’ll call you when I’m out.’ I never heard from him again.”
In one of his final Twitter posts on March 20, Lapinski wrote about his dentist appointment.
Friends set up a Facebook memorial page in honor of Lapinski, who was remembered for his enthusiasm and caring personality.
“I am so blessed to have had Marek in my life,” wrote Stephanie Keiser. “He was a loyal and loving friend like no other.”