If Anne Ziegenhorn had known this was the price of beauty, she would have run the other way.
“It’s not a story a multi-billion dollar industry wants to get out,” Ziegenhorn said.
A saline breast implant, covered with mold, was removed form her body after a two year nightmare.
“I felt like that was it, I was gonna die, and the doctors were gonna let me die,” Ziegenhorn said.
It started in 2011.
The woman who was a picture of health suddenly started gaining weight, losing her vision and experiencing burning, unrelenting pain.
She had sores all over her body.
Her thinking was so cloudy she thought she might have Alzheimer’s.
She was misdiagnosed with everything from lupus to arthritis to thyroid problems.
“Silicone sickness in and of itself is one entity. And then you add the mold to it that we had, and then you’ve got two illnesses going on” Ziegenhorn said.
The diagnosis that Anne believes saved her life came from Dr. Susan Kolb, author of “The Naked Truth About Breast Implants.”
“My experience in doing this for thirty years is that eventually everybody will become ill from their breast implants, unless they die sooner from something else,” plastic surgeon Doctor Susan Kolb said.
Dr. Kolb says she’s seeing lots of women with mold in their saline implants, often from defective valves.
She says in 25 to 30 percent of the population, it’s debilitating.
The doctor is not anti-implant, she has them herself.
But she believes for safety, women need to get their implants replaced every eight to fifteen years.
“All the neurological symptoms… the burning numbing stabbing shooting electrical shocking pains throughout my body went away immediately,” breast implant recipient Amanda Gilcrease said.
Through Dr. Kolb, Anne met other women suffering the same frightening symptoms.
They formed “The Implant Survivors Committee” to educate women and doctors and to force the FDA to listen.
“I literally willed myself to live and willed myself to get this message out here This is my purpose, this is why I’m here,” Ziegenhorn said.