A mum-of-two was left on the brink of death after her breast implants slowly began to poison her – but says doctors didn’t believe her.
In 2014, after years of feeling insecure about her chest – especially after seeing her body change after childbirth – Sara decided to get a boob job.
At the time, the mum was a 34B and booked in with surgeons in March that same year to increase her cup size to 34DD.
She had no idea of the nightmare that would soon follow.
“At the time, I was a young single mum working in a salon, putting pressure on myself which was increased by working in the beauty industry,” she told NeedToKnow.online.
“My insecurities were overwhelming and in my broken mindset I remember thinking ‘new boobs will fix all my problems’.
“I was going to have this beautiful body, I was going to be so confident, I was finally going to fit in and at the time it just made sense!
“I had no idea what was coming.”
Sara used $3,500 of her savings to pay for the implants and at first was very happy with the look and feel of her new breasts.
But just a month after the operation, she began experiencing the most unimaginable bladder pain.
She said: “I would spend most of my time in the bathtub trying to get any relief I could.
“Soon I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called interstitial cystitis.
“It feels like salt on an open wound all day long in your bladder.”
To help with the pain, Sara had a procedure called bladder distention surgery in April 2014 but unfortunately, it didn’t offer her any pain relief.
A month later, she began bleeding profusely.
Doctors, who according to the mum still believed the pain was linked to her bladder, recommended the mum have a hysterectomy – which she did, in June 2014.
Tragically, the pain remained and Sara says her body “no longer felt like her own”, as she was thrown into early menopause.
Over the years that followed, she would be in and out of emergency rooms and prescribed different medications including nerve blocks.
Finally, at their wits’ ends, her doctors suggested a spinal cord stimulator, a battery pack embedded under the skin that has wires attached to the bladder.
She said: “The nerve blocks were excruciating and my body hated the chemicals in the meds but it was worth the three days of pain relief it would give me.
“I was desperate and the spinal cord stimulator sounded like my only option, so I agreed to the surgery.
“The very next day the world was shut down due to Covid and I was unable to get the operation and they stopped my nerve blocks cold turkey.
“I lost so much weight, at one point I was just seven stone.
“I was dying, but nobody seemed to believe me.”
The mum spent most of her days “sobbing in pain” and felt she was “slowly slipping away”.
That’s when she finally reached a turning point – all thanks to an article she stumbled across online.
It described a woman who had breast implant illness and became allergic to certain foods with other symptoms that fit Sara’s.
She said: “I was desperately trying to find answers so I asked my doctor for a blood test and sure enough, I had become allergic to gluten.
“This was a huge puzzle piece for me and where I really started to put things together.
“I was reading story after story of women removing their implants because of mystery illnesses and feeling better!”
Certain the sicknesses were coming from her breast implants, Sara decided to have hers removed but was unable to afford the $20,000 surgery as it was not covered by insurance.
Two years later, sicker than ever and no longer able to stand the pain, she turned to her sister for help with organising a loan.
She said: “I was told [by doctors] that everything was in my head and that I should check myself into the psych ward.
“But I knew it was my breasts and I needed them out.
“Not only was I being poisoned by the toxins and chemicals in the shell of the implant but I was also being poisoned by mould the implant had grown.
“I’ve since learned that mould is common in saline implants due to the valve where the saline is put in.”
Sara had her implants removed in June 2021 and couldn’t be happier, having since recovered from her bizarre list of symptoms.
She has also started a non-profit charity to raise money to help pay for explant surgeries (@the.curly.tomboy) so others won’t have to go through what she did.
The mum said: “The first thing I said when I woke up is ‘oh my god, I can breathe’.
“The whites of my eyes brightened back up instantly, the redness in my skin went away, the changes I noticed in the first hour were so wild!
“A year on, my bladder pain is non-existent, my weight has stabilised and my mental health is on a great path.
“I’m so thankful to be alive and here to watch my boys grow.”