I BLAME MY BREAST IMPLANTS FOR KILLING MY BABY
A grieving mother given faulty breast implants that ruptured leaking mattress stuffing into her body while she was pregnant says she blames them for killing her baby.
Suzanne’s son was delivered still born after she suffered serious complications with her implants.
Doctors could offer no other explanation for the baby’s death and the 31 year old had given birth to a healthy baby daughter before having the implants fitted.
Suzanne said: ‘I know in my heart my breast implants killed my baby. I’m devastated and guilt ridden and I want to stop this happening to any other mother.’
A scan in Jan 2012 showed the implant in her right breast was fully ruptured and had been leaking silicone into her body
Seeing specialist on 3 Feb 2012
I could hear the weary sigh at the other end of the phone.
‘OK, but please try to be in tomorrow,’ my boss said.
I couldn’t blame him for being annoyed. I’d had so much time off recently.
‘You’ve not been right since you had your breasts done,’ Mum said when she popped round that afternoon to find me in bed.
I’d had a boob job in April 2007 to boost my barely-there 34As to a womanly 34D.
I’d always been unhappy with my chest, dreamed of having a boob job as long as I could remember. But as a single mum it looked set to remain that – just a dream.
Until one day, I decided enough was enough – I’d put the £3800 on my mortgage. And it was worth every penny. For the first time in my life I felt feminine.
But then, ten months after my op, I started experiencing problems with my right breast. It was painful to the touch and would swell so much I’d have to hide the difference under baggy tops.
‘It’s perfectly normal for implants to take a little time to settle,’ my surgeon said when I contacted him. ‘Just give it a few months.’
Relieved, I pushed my fears to the back of my mind. But in the months that followed I suffered repeated chest, ear and throat infections. My glands were constantly swollen and I was back and forth to the doctors for more antibiotics.
It wasn’t like me. I’d always been so healthy, hardly ever took a day off from my job as a pharmacy assistant. But now, I was hardly ever in.
Still Mum was putting two and two together and making five. This was just a coincidence.
I mean it wasn’t as if I’d gone abroad for a cheap boob job. No, I’d researched my surgeon thoroughly and trusted him completely. He’d guaranteed my implants would be safe for the next ten years…
‘It’s just one of those things. I’m sure I’ll feel better soon,’ I told Mum.
Still, as the weeks passed, the infections continued. I was plagued by headaches and sore throats and hardly ever did a full week at work. I was struggling to look after my daughter Courtney, now 14, too.
Then, the following January, I found out I was pregnant. It was quite a shock. My boyfriend Adam and I hadn’t been trying for a baby. Still, we were over the moon and Courtney was excited about being a big sister.
But whereas my first pregnancy went smoothly, this time around I felt awful.
I suffered severe vomiting, was constantly exhausted and had awful intense itching across my entire body that no amount of scratching could relieve.
‘You’ve got to help me. It’s like something’s under my skin, in my blood,’ I begged my GP.
But he was baffled. I was admitted to hospital several times for allergy treatment but nothing helped.
I know a lot of women have bad pregnancies, but this was like nothing I had experienced or heard of before. I couldn’t even get out of bed to go to work and spent most of my time in bed or in hospital.
Thankfully scans showed my baby developing well. At 20 weeks we found out I was carrying a boy. We decided to call him Ivan.
But then, at 27 weeks my waters broke.
I was rushed to hospital where the doctors battled to keep the baby in for as long as possible.
‘The next days will be touch and go,’ they warned me.
I was admitted, given a scan every morning. And to everyone’s surprise, the amniotic fluid in my womb began to replenish itself.
Everyone kept telling me not to get my hopes up but I couldn’t help it. Surely this was a good sign?
But then, on the fourth morning, the scan showed that his umbilical cord had come away.
‘We can’t work out how he’s still alive,’ the consultant admitted. The risk of infection was sky-high.
‘He’s a fighter, I just know it.’ I said to Adam.
But the scan the next morning brought bad news
‘I’m so sorry,’ the consultant said.
We’d lost him. My little boy had given up the fight.
Ivan was delivered the following day.
‘Why? Why?’ I wept as I held his tiny body.
But there were no answers. Doctors couldn’t explain why his life had been cut so tragically short.
I was devastated. I held Ivan close all day, only gave him up so Courtney could give her little brother a goodbye cuddle.
We held his funeral at the church where I’d been christened. Hundreds of family and friends came to give their support.
I hoped after his funeral I’d be able to start to move on. But it was so hard when I didn’t know why this had happened. It made no sense…
‘I really think you should have your implants looked at, love,’ Mum said a few weeks later.
This all seems too much of a coincidence to me.’
She was right. To think I could be to blame for having the implants was awful, but I had to admit it made sense.
Before the implants I’d been fit and well, and afterwards… well I’d constantly been ill and now my baby had died and nobody knew why.
‘There must be some link, surely?’ I asked the doctors but nobody could say for sure.
‘Why won’t anything give me a proper answer?’ I wailed.
The strain of losing Ivan coupled with the not knowing proved too much for me and Adam and we split up.
‘Everything’s gone wrong,’ I wept to Mum. I felt like my life was falling apart.
I tried to be strong, get on with things for
Courtney’s sake but the doubts still niggled. And I still felt poorly.
Then, two years on, I began to get a discharge from my nipples. I went back to the doctor.
‘Time of the month,’ he said. ‘It’ll settle down in time.’
So I waited. And eventually, it stopped.
I began to think that Mum was wrong. All women have little niggles with their bodies, don’t they?
Only then last year I was doing my hair when I noticed a large lump about the size of a two pence piece hanging down from my rightbreast.
Fearing the worst, I made an appointment with my GP that same day. He diagnosed a cyst, sent me off with more antibiotics.
But back home I started to feel worse, not better. I developed a raging sore throat and my temperature rocketed.
‘You’ve got an infection,’ my doctor diagnosed, writing me out a new prescription.
But then I developed a fever and started vomiting. Worse still, I could see another lump in my breast…
‘I want a referral,’ I told my GP.
Something was very wrong, I just knew it.
I had to wait weeks for the appointment to come through. Convinced it had to be cancer – why else had I been so ill? – I couldn’t look at Courtney without crying.
But the truth was equally frightening…
A scan showed the implant in my right breast was fully ruptured and had been leaking silicone into my body for some time.
Worse still, the implants were made by PIP and contained silicone made for stuffing mattresses.
My symptoms were an allergic reaction to the poison leaking into my body.
No wonder I’d been so poorly… I felt sick. I couldn’t bear to think about the chemicals coursing around my body. Why hadn’t Iistened to
Mum earlier? She’d been right all along…
And for the first time I had no doubts – this is what had taken my son’s life.
I was advised to reach my plastic surgeon.
But no matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t get through to the number he’d given me.
In desperation, I went back to my GP.
‘You’ve got to help me.’ I wept. ‘I don’t know who else to turn to.’
I could apply to have my implants removed on the NHS.
Three days later, I got the go ahead. There was only one catch – they wouldn’t replace them.
The thought of all that loose, saggy skin hanging off my once-again flat chest made me feel sick.
But what option did I have? They had to go. I was terrified about the damage they were doing to me.
‘You could always have other implants put in?’ a friend said.
But I don’t know if I could trust anyone again. I trusted that surgeon before and I believe it cost me my baby’s life.
I’ve got my consultation with the specialist next week and hopefully I won’t have to wait too much longer for the op.
I’m so angry with myself that I put mine and Ivan’s health at risk but then I thought I was dealing with a professional…this should never have been allowed to happen.
I will have to live with the loss of my son forever and I firmly believe the chemicals leaking from my implants poisoned him. If they’ve made me this ill for the last three years, imagine what they could do to a tiny baby…
We know the French Government are already examining a link between the implants and cancer – I think they need to look at the link between miscarriage and still birth too.
Nothing will bring Ivan back but if it could prevent one more woman going through this Hell then surely it’s worth it?