As demand for illegal silicone injections grows, so do deaths

From The LA Times:,0,5337044,full.story

People seeking bigger buttocks often end up at illegal ‘pumping parties’ with unsanitary – and sometimes fatal – injections of industrial-grade silicone.

By Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
October 9, 2012

Shatarka Nuby just wanted to be pretty.

She longed to fill out her jeans, to look curvier in her bikini, so she sought out a man with a syringe who said he could sell her the body she wanted for $1,000.

In her bedroom in South Florida, witnesses later told police, Nuby handed Oneal Ron Morris a wad of cash and stretched out on her stomach. Morris plunged a syringe filled with clear liquid into Nuby’s hips and buttocks, the onlookers said. Her skin began to rise under the needle.

Nuby underwent treatments for four years and, in time, fell ill. She died in March at age 31.

Morris, 31, now awaits trial on charges of manslaughter. Police say that, using the alias “Duchess,” he gave injections to multiple women in South Florida — pumping their buttocks and other body parts with silicone, mineral oil or Fix-A-Flat tire sealant and sealing the wounds with Super Glue.

Nuby is one of hundreds of people who have turned to a black market version of cosmetic surgery, sometimes with lethal consequences. Her official cause of death: respiratory failure triggered by a massive migration of industrial-grade silicone.

Some see the injections as a quick fix to a body image problem. Others are strippers or sex workers who seek more feminine bodies, or transgender women who can’t afford hormone therapy.

“Too often, these are acts of desperation,” said Harper Tobin, policy director at the National Center for Transgender Equality.

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