Abortion Agony of PIP Mum
A woman expecting her first baby is involved in a desperate race against time to find a medical team who may be able to help her after pressure on her breasts could burst her poisonous PIP breast implants.
The woman, named in local media as Manuela Gebert, 29 - from Munich, Germany - is hoping media exposure might help her get medical help to have them removed - and maybe even offer a solution to save her child.
The pharmacist discovered she was pregnant in the same week as she was told her 2008 implants were from the batch produced containing potentially lethal industrial silicone. A scan revealed they had already started to leak.
"Just as I'd realised my dream of a baby, I have been told I have to give it up. Every time I see baby powder or nappies I burst into tears," she told the Munchener Merkur newspaper.
Surgeons have refused to remove her implants due to a blood condition which massively increases her risk of blood clotting - believed to have been caused by leaking silicone - and which means she might not survive the op.
Now changes to her breasts caused by the pregnancy mean growing pressure on the implants mean they could burst, threatening both her and her unborn tot.
The woman had been to more than 10 local surgeons who all turned her down before opting to have the abortion, scheduled to take place next week.
"I have always wanted a baby – and I got pregnant at the same time as I then discovered that I had been given the PIP implants," said Manuela, who is part of a class action law suit with the German legal firm Zierhut und Graf that is suing the now insurance company Allianz in France that had insured the now bankrupt French firm that produced the implants.
So far 150 of the estimated 5,000 - 10,000 women in Germany are being represented by the firm that is also taking legal action against the firm that delivered the implants to Germany.
Since 2009 she has been suffering from a blood disease that meant she needed chemotherapy. Her lawyer Michael Graf said: "As this disease is usually hereditary and yet no-one in her family has had it before, we believe it was caused by the implants."
She had been training as a beautician in 2006 when she decided to have her first breast implant, saving all her earnings to pay for it. She said: "I was young and it was common in the branch for people to have beauty ops. I didn't really think about it."
She then needed a correction in 2008 and was given the cheap implants by a Munich surgeon.
She said: "He told me that he would only be using the best quality implants."
Journalismwithoutborders is hoping that by spreading her story world wide the young woman will be able to get help to have the implants removed.
Any medical institution that may be able to help is urged to email news(at)journalismwithoutborders.com
This article was written with the help of Munchener Merkur journalist Bettina Stuhl Weissenburg and photographer Klaas Haag who is allowing the picture to be used by English-speaking media ONLY. The picture is NOT to be used in Germany without permission from the photographer. Please write to office(at)journalismwithoutborders.com for details or contact the newspaper direct.