Image: WSPD Local News
In 1998, Anna Ziegenhorn began experiencing some worrying symptoms that continued on and off for over 10 years. Her condition took a turn for the worse in 2011, starting with blurred vision and almost 10kg of unexplained weight gain.
“I went eight months unable to speak and just the thought of speaking caused excruciating pain,” she wrote on her blog. Ziegenhorn also endured headaches, bruising, lesions and lethargy.
“I felt like that was it, I was gonna die, and the doctors were gonna let me die,” she told WHAM 13 news recently.
In late 2013, Ziegenhorn requested the films from her past few mammograms, where she noticed something on her right breast getting progressivly worse each year.
Watch: Studio 10 demonstrates how to check your breasts for lumps. (Post continues after video.)
“I studied my films and thought they looked like a petrie dish in biochemistry,” she recalled.
Ziegenhorn immediately sent them to breast implant specialist Dr Susan Kolb, who determined that Ziegenhorn’s silicone implants had actually begun growing mould inside her body.
“My implant, which was full of mold, leaked for years then completely ruptured. All of the mouldy water spread through my body, all 300-320 cubic centremetres of it,” she said.
Tellingly, her early symptoms had presented within six months of her switching from silicone to saline breast implants in 1998.
After being placed on antifungal and antibiotics, Ziegenhorn reported that within 24 hours she could speak again, her sores started to heal and within five days she had lost almost five kilograms. She then underwent emergency surgery to remove the implants.