Well, good morning, folks. My name is Bill Lykins, and I’m the husband and caregiver to Julie Lykins, a breast implant illness survivor.
As Julie’s illness progressed, watching her deteriorate before my eyes, it was an extremely helpless feeling.
One examination after another and not a single doctor could figure out what was wrong with her. We suspected a rupture, paid for an MRI, which the results falsely indicated that there was no rupture.
It’s all in your head, we were told time after time.
Once we finally learned what the cause was through social media, which is sad that it has to come from there, the helpless feeling I had quickly became anger.
Doctors continually told us breast implants ‘are the most studied device on the market.’ There is ‘no way her breast implants were causing the myriad of symptoms,’ when, in fact, that’s exactly what the cause was.
So, was it an indifference or a lack of education on the doctors’ part? In my opinion, it was both.
I watched my wife of 35 years become so frail that when I touched her, the pain was unbearable. Her weight dropped to 87 pounds. Her health was so poor that I feared I’d lose her.
But when she explanted, her health almost improved overnight. It’s pretty amazing.
About 4 years ago I lost my sister, Terri, who was 55 years old.
She had breast implants as well and was suffering from many of the same symptoms my wife and so many of these women here today suffer from.
I can’t help but think that if medical professionals were educated on this illness sooner, my sister, along with many other women, would still be alive.
As an airline pilot and captain for over 32 years, I’m entrusted with many lives, much like the FDA is. If I knowingly took an aircraft that I knew was unsafe and could potentially take all the lives on board the aircraft, perhaps you or your families’ lives, that would be negligent, to say the least. And quite possibly criminal.
But that’s exactly what’s happening every day you allow products to become implanted into a woman’s body.
If you continue to permit the sale of textured implants, the product many countries have already banned, while knowing and suspecting—or suspecting—that the product is unsafe, wouldn’t you be just as guilty as I if I flew an unsafe aircraft, jeopardizing the lives of all who had trusted in me?
How much longer? How much longer do women need to suffer? You’re here today because your job is to ensure that the American public is protected from products that harm us.
Textured implants are one of those products.
The FDA and manufacturers must ensure that medical professionals and patients are educated on the debilitating symptoms and risks of all breast implants immediately.
Please protect our family and remove the textured breast implants from the market so they can cause no harm. Now, you folks at the FDA, you have a tough job, and we appreciate what you do.
You’ve got to deal with this problem.
[Open public comment given by Mr. William Lykins, the husband of a breast implant recipient, at the General and Plastic Surgery Devices Panel, FDA White Oak Campus, Building #31, Great Room, on March 26, 2019. The title of this article does not constitute part of the speaker’s presentation to the FDA Panel, and any hyperlinks within the text or text appearing in brackets were added for clarity or ease of use by editors.]