In this compelling personal narrative, Barbara retraces her 30-year journey battling baffling and debilitating health issues since silicone breast implants were placed into her body following bilateral mastectomy in 1984. At subsequent revision surgery, both silicone devices were found to have ruptured and were replaced with the now scandal-ridden PIP implants which, within two years, became grossly distorted. Her third set of implants were banned for augmentation in the USA because of serious safety concerns. When her health coursed rapidly into a downward spiral, implants were finally removed from her body. Her symptoms and their severity multiplied in the months following.
Barbara travelled alone to the USA to consult with an internationally recognised expert where, following month-long testing, she was diagnosed suffering the biological effects of exposure to platinum salts. Used as a catalyst in silicone breast implants, platinum salts are one of the most allergenic substances and potent chemical sensitisers known to mankind.
In her quest for treatment, she encountered a deeply divergent response from the medical profession ranging from the caring and intellectually curious, to the closed-minded and patronisingly sceptical.
Her journey led her to an awareness of the regulatory failings of the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and the impediment that Australia’s manifestly inadequate Freedom of Information laws pose to women making informed choices. She discovered that knowledge about the dangerous chemicals in breast implants cannot be disclosed either to women considering implants, or to those suffering their ill effects who are in desperate need of diagnosis and treatment.