Please read with caution. There are images and descriptions that are not suitable for children. Graphic content.
This is about much more than a person who is suffering, this is the story of a woman that could be any one of us or anyone you love. This is the story of my best friend, Lyndsay Colosimo. I have reached out here in her place because as a strong woman who is always giving, she is not one to ask for help.
She is an amazing loving aunt, the kind that you call when you need someone to watch the sick kids when they can't go to school, the kind that picks up all of her nieces and nephews for fun activities and helps them with schoolwork. She is a supportive, helpful daughter to her parents, who is always there for them, checking on them, traveling with her father who is one of her best friends. She is the thoughtful friend who organizes surprise parties and events for her loved ones, who puts the happiness of others around her before herself and calls to make sure you got home okay and says I love you every time she hangs up. She is the passionate kind of person who is always giving, rarely takes and never complains about it. This is the story of my best friend, Lyndsay Colosimo.
As with any story, we will start from the beginning. My friend Lyndsay went through a miraculous weight loss and as usual she had some extra skin which needed to be removed so she did. Unfortunately that procedure did not go as she would have liked and she ended up with her breast implants being put in backwards and upside down and she was left with a scar across her tummy that she was uncomfortable with and a very difficult recovery.
After that, about 4 years ago, Lyndsay got into a relationship with a man who was the kind of person who takes advantage of a loving soul such as hers. She got into a relationship with a man who saw all of her and knew that he could manipulate and control her to his will. Being the kind of person she is she gave more of herself to him than she could afford. She gave more of herself to him than he deserved and in return he viciously verbally attacked her person and her physical body because he knew that would be the thing that he could control her mind with. This man managed to amplify her insecurities about her procedure by calling her a "monster" and "disgusting" when he would get angry with her, Lyndsay grew to hate herself and her body and eventually, after he stole a HUGE amount of money from her and her father, she ended the very ugly relationship knowing that it was no longer serving her life any purpose. As a woman this kind of relationship probably rings a bell to you whether you have been in this position yourself or know someone who has. This kind of relationship takes from you and gives nothing in return, so Lyndsay decided it was time for her to do something for HERSELF.
Lyndsay decided she would have some surgical procedures to try to fix the scars she had from before, convincing herself this would complete her and take away the hate she had gained for herself from the abusive, body shaming relationship she had recently left. She had some friends who had a procedure done by a doctor they recommended in Medellin, Colombia and she flew out to start her consultation and surgery with him. She went to have her tummy done and her buttocks lifted she had no intentions of having her breasts done but he said that they NEEDED to be done so she listened to the doctor.
Immediately after surgery she noticed something was off. She felt hot, sick and sore, unlike she had ever experienced, but the doctor ignored her requests for a meeting, refusing to see her until 5 days after her procedure. She was terrified and emotionally exhausted, in a country where she did not speak the language and needed help from translators and staff to communicate with the doctor she decided she would trust the professionals, as the doctor continued to speak to her in only Spanish reiterating that he had over 10 years experience and he knew what he was doing.
This is her breasts where her nipples should be 3 days after procedure.
In the mean time she developed a relationship with the staff at the recovery center and refugees she met in the streets of Medellin. She decided she wanted to help them and from there in Colombia she organized a donation mission and had over 100 lbs of clothes and shoes brought from the US to Colombia for the refugees who had nothing but rags to wear and were begging and starving in the streets with infant children.
At this point, one week post op, Lyndsay was draining 4liters of fluid from her body daily, she had been prescribed 4 different antibiotics and was in a hyperbaric chamber daily to heal. Something had clearly gone wrong during her procedure as her breasts were covered in necrosis (dead tissue) and she began meeting other women at the facility with similar issues. Some women whos breasts looked like hers and some who had even more terrifying, life threatening infections. When the doctor realized she was communicating with these women the doctor threatened the others that if they continued speaking with her he wouldn't see them anymore and would stop their treatment.
This is her breast where her nipple should be 3 days after procedure.
Once she finally saw the doctor the situation started to unravel. The communication went from threats to demands to see her, at one point he showed up at the hotel after 10pm at night and had to be escorted off the premises. He started communicating in English, pretty clearly, which he claimed he could not before and he became a desperate, unprofessional, shadow of a man. He told her she knew she would ruin him on social media and he and his family would be fine that they had dealt with this before and he would overcome again. This to say when her LIFE is obviously in jeopardy.
This is her breast 3 weeks post op after she started seeing wound specialist who removed the necrosis (dead skin) and her complete nipple.
Now imagine, you are in her shoes. You are here to try to improve how you look on the outside, help how you feel on the inside, and you look at yourself in the mirror and this is what you see. This is what you have been left with and this horrible man is worried about his social media presence. She was essentially held against her will in Colombia for a month until the doctor gave her medical clearance and she was finally able to come home.
Flash forward to today. We are a nearly 1 1/2 months post op. I accompanied her to a consultation at a hospital with a wound care doctor where we discussed recovery and plan of treatment. The doctor was unable to give us an idea of what kind of time frame we are looking at for complete healing but couldn't say it would be less than a year.
She will have to have a wound vac on her at all times for the foreseen future until there is some kind of healing of the large holes beneath the breasts where there are STILL sutures that are essentially holding her together. She will have to have home health aids come and visit her home 3 times a week for now to change out her vac and garments. She can not get wet, she can not drive, and as a result of the stress she can not sleep. She has gone back to work and is being a real trooper.
This is the wound vac that she will have to carry around with her and have changed out by nurses every 3 days for the foreseeable future. When she sleeps, when she eats, when she goes to business meetings for work this vac will be with her in a bag on her shoulder and over her body at all times.
After her first 3 days with wound vac. Every 2-3 days she will have to have the vac film pealed off, they adhere to the skin like a giant piece of tape. Each time they will place a new film and new tubes into the area of the wounds to continue to draw the fluids from her breasts.
7/9/19 wound vac change. She is showing some progress and will continue to need this care 3xs weekly for the foreseen future.
At this point she is keeping a strong face but her soul is permanently damaged. After some deep conversations she has come to the conclusion that she was trying to cope with the way she felt about herself physically when what she really needed was emotional and metal closure. This is a battle we will fight every single day until she has won. She is paying for all of this out of her own pocket and the aftercare is seemingly going to last forever. After the next year of wound care they will have to do reconstructive procedures on her just to have an assemblance of a breast.
As women we must come together to love and support each other in these times and if there ever was a woman who deserved for others to step up and help her in her time of need this is her and now is the time.
Anything you can give helps, even a share. Share this story and help someone who is the heart and soul of her family and friends in a time of need.
- Lisa Basile
- Lisa Marcus
- Adena Yelin
- Nadine Fagan
West Palm Beach, FL