A woman has described how she almost died after one of her breast implants turned mouldy.
American Melissa Lima suffered from debilitating symptoms for several years following her augmentation surgery in 2002.
But, "despite hundreds of appointments", a host of doctors could not get to the bottom of her health issues, which included severe joint pain, extreme fatigue, brain fog, blurred vision, body rashes, unexplained inflammation, weight gain and sudden food allergies.
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"As a single mum, I couldn’t get out of bed anymore to cook for my boys," she explained in a TikTok video that has gone viral. "I would often wonder if they would be better without me."
As Melissa's condition deteriorated, she admitted she "just gave up".
After a friend suggested she researched Breast Implant Illness (BII), though, she started to realise her problems could be down to the silicone in her body.
"These things were so close to killing me," she declared.
BII is not yet a recognised condition in the medical world despite many women having experienced similar symptoms to Melissa after an implant operation.
Doctors from Breast Implant Removal Australia have also argued that the absence of a proven scientific link should not cast doubt on the nature of the patients' symptoms.
And Melissa is convinced that her decision to remove her implants in October 2020 "literally saved" her life after making the shock discovery that one was filled with mould.
"Yes that’s mould," she said alongside the video of her silicone.
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Once the implant was removed from her body, Melissa's health improved considerably and she added: "My face and eyes literally changed within hours. I finally felt like me again."
Two years on, she feels happier and healthier than ever before, reasoning: "I’m living my best life and, best of all, my sons have their mum back."
Melissa is now urging women who have had breast implants and are experiencing the same symptoms as she did, or others such as muscle pain and a ringing noise in their ears, to research whether they might have BII.
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