Silicone injections are known on the black market as ‘pumping.’
They’re used to enhance a person`s natural curves.
In an exclusive interview, WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter spoke to the mother of one victim — of the procedure that`s growing in popularity.
“I would never let him go, that’s my baby, no matter how he live his life, he doesn’t deserve this,” mother Lessie Mae Hall said.
She’s talking about her son, the transgendered female clinging to life in the hospital.
“He lives his life as a woman,” sister Lashey Hall said.
It started years ago.
Little Brad Hall was always “different.”
As early as eleven, he was caught wearing make-up and his younger sister’s dresses.
“And I said Brad that’s not right. Why is you want to feel like you’s a girl? He said mom I’m born to be a girl. This who I am,” Lessie said. “I said no you’re not a girl, you don’t know what you’re saying.” “He said I know what I feel.”
It was a transition that would have devastating consequences; after family members say Brad aka “Bree” met up with female impersonator Armani Nicole Davenport.
The entertainer is accused of traveling the pageant circuit and injecting contestants with silicone; a practice known on the black market as “pumping.”
“Armani don’t just pump transsexuals, she pump males, females; it don’t matter as long as you come with
money she’s ready to pump,” Lashey said.
The family says Armani was Bree’s black market doctor of choice.
She’d already gotten her checks enhanced, her breasts, and buttocks.
“And then from there, the last procedure he wanted hips,” Lessie explained.
October 24th: Something went terribly wrong.
“I thought he was gone,” Lashay said. “I thought he was dead, until paramedics said hey I got a pulse.”
“Bree” was rushed to the hospital and placed on a breathing machine.
She has slipped into a coma.
“I just dropped to my knees and started crying, and screening murder, and yelling,” Lessie said. “Why, why, why me why Brad?”
New Orleans plastic surgeon Dr. Ali Sadeghi, shared his thoughts on silicone injections.
“It’s been deemed harmful by the FDA to inject silicone.”
And it’s illegal.
He says it can cause infection and paralysis. It could also lead to amputations, even death.
“Especially when you’re injecting silicone in high volume into the breast the buttock,” Dr. Sadeghi said. “Sometimes some of the silicone material gets within the blood vessels, the veins and the arteries and can travel to the lungs and can cause embolism.”
Making matters worse, instead of medical grade silicone, industrial grade is often used on the black-market.
It’s found in products like floor wax, furniture polish, armor all, and fix-a-flat.
“They usually use this fix-a-flat stuff.” “That what he usually use for people,” Lessie explained.
“Obviously you wouldn’t want to put this in your mouth,” Dr. Sadeghi said. “I don’t know why you’d want to put it anywhere else in your body.”
“Brad been getting sick from the time he missed a muscle and shot it up in his blood stream,” Lessie said.
But is the alleged suspect solely to blame?
“At 25 Brad us a consenting adult,” Trotter said. “He consented. No one put a gun to his head and said he you’ve gotta let me pump you.” “He consented.” “Yeah but this person who did it is not a doctor,” Lessie responded.
“Armani pumped Bree before and this never happened,” Lashay said. “Bree felt comfortable and safe.”
“I don’t know when he gonna wake up, I don’t know if he gonna wake up outta this coma,” Lessie said.
It’s been two weeks of pure hell for everyone involved.
Alleged suspect Larry Bernard has been arrested, while Bree fights for her life.
It’s all sparked an emotional plea from this mother.
“I tell, please whatever you do, don’t get it done,” Lessie said. “Have second thoughts.” “It’s not worth it.”
Thursday night Bree was taken off of the breathing machine. She opened her eyes, and was responsive. But doctors say may never make a full recovery.
If you would like to help family members with a donation to off-set the cost of medical expenses, an account has been set up at ASI Federal Credit Union.
You can make a donation at any branch location, to bank routing number 2650-750-87, account number 589-5930.