‘Vitamin’ injections caused long-term harm, says victim

| 22/08/2018 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands courts, Grand Cayman

(CNS): A woman who believed she was receiving vitamin injections to deal with dry skin when she went to a salon in George Town came away with non-medical grade silicon in her face, which caused a serious infection, terrible lumps, swelling, redness and ongoing health problems that have lasted for more than two years, a court heard Wednesday. Elizabeth Frederick recounted the pain and anguish she suffered after being treated by Zunilda Anaya Baldovino, an unlicensed beauty therapist who, the court heard, was working outside of the terms of her work permit.

Baldovino is charged with reckless and negligent acts after injecting at least two women with a dangerous substance that she said was a vitamin. She has denied the allegations.

When the case against Baldovino opened in Summary Court Wednesday, prosecutor Darlene Oko outlined the case and the damage suffered by Frederick and a second woman, who is expected to give evidence later this week from Colombia, where she is still receiving treatment.

Both women had gone to Beauty and Barber International on Shedden Road in George Town for the injections and suffered similar problems. Frederick told the court that she had gone to see Baldovino on and off since 2010 for facials and on several occasions had also received vitamin injects without ill-effect.

But in November 2016 Baldovino said she had a new type of treatment and told Frederick that if she was interested, she could give her a course of treatment for $380. Frederick told the court that she was persuaded it would help her dry skin problem and she agreed. She went along for the first treatment and received several injections.

Frederick said it did not feel the same as it had before, but it had been some time since she last had any vitamin injections so she thought nothing of it. She went back a few days later for the next step in the beauty treatment but, she said, this time when Baldovino injected her, she immediately felt a lot of pain and screamed out.

Asking her what it was, Baldovino said it would make her face really beautiful. When she injected her a second time, the pain was the same and Frederick stopped her and said she did not want any more.

Frederick left the salon and soon afterwards began to feel unwell. That evening her face was red and beginning to swell and she had a fever. The next day when she went to work it got worse and her co-workers commented on her swollen red face.

After work Frederick went to a doctor, where she was given some medication for the swelling and an infection, which turned out to be Mycobacterium, a dangerous infection which is hard to treat. But at that time, the doctor said there was nothing more he could do until he knew what she had been injected with and recommended a specialist.

Frederick told the court that she had called Baldovino, who then came to her house with a man she claimed was a doctor. As Frederick laid on her couch, Baldovino started to put Vicks VapoRub on her face, which was very painful, and asked her to let the man treat her. Frederick refused, however, because she did not believe he was a doctor; although she had seen him before at a local hospital, he was pushing a laundry cart.

Pressing him, Frederick and her husband asked about his credentials and he claimed to be qualified in Cuba but that he did not have a licence to practice medicine here. Frederick refused any further treatment but urged Baldovino to tell her what she had injected her with, but she continued to claim it was the same vitamins that she used before.

The court heard that Frederick then went to see the specialist, where cultures and a biopsy were conducted and it was determined that she had the serious infection. When the biopsy came back, she learned she had been injected with non-medical grade silicon — an extremely dangerous substance that can move around the body and cause serious damage. As the body does not absorb it, the only treatment is to have it removed through surgery.

Frederick spoke about the long running health problems she has suffered, but she has no money or a visa to go to Miami to get the treatment she really needs. She explained that she had lost her job and was unable to work for over a year as a result of the problems, and could have spent as much as $5,000 seeing doctors to tackle the constant flare-ups and infections.

She said that although she received $200 back from Baldovino, the part payment for the treatment, she has received no compensation, despite trying to get her to pay toward her medical costs.

Frederick said she went to the police after Baldovino continually refused to say what she had injected into her face.

During the course of her evidence the court saw pictures documenting the swelling and lumps in Frederick’s face and even a gruesome video of her draining the fluid from her cheeks, which were infected in the area of the injections.

The case continues.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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