Man dying from silicone - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Man dying from silicone

Jazzmyn Braxton Jazzmyn Braxton

January 21, 2004


Albany-- It's a procedure called "pumping" and it's already killed one Albany man.

A 23-year-old transvestite from Alabama had silicone directly injected into his breasts, cheeks, and buttocks so he would look like a woman. But the silicone leaked into his blood stream, and that killed him.

Now, Jazzmyn Braxton, also 23, lies in his bed, oxygen tank helping his breath. Too sick to walk, "Jazz," who is a man, but prefers to be called a woman, is taking a variety of heart and lung medicines.

Jazz said "The Doctor say he don't see me living past 26." A transvestite from Savannah, Jazz says two years ago she hired a lady from Atlanta to inject silicone into her body, to make her look more like a woman. "I loved the look. I got a lot of compliments. And got paid a lot on stage, because I was an entertainer."

Over time, Jazz paid the woman from Atlanta more than $7,000 to make her face, breasts, buttocks, and hips more feminine. The plaques Jazz won in drag queen pageants decorate her walls, thanks to the dangerous injections. "[It's done] Without a bag, loose silicone [is injected] into your tissue."

Jazz said "Word of mouth, and everybody been doing it. You've seen people do it for years."

But that silicone in the human body is absorbed into the blood stream, and many transvestites like the Alabama man have already died.

Now the Dougherty District Attorney's office is investigating this practice. If they find the woman who gave the injections, she could face murder charges. Jazz says the woman who gives the silicone injections lives in Atlanta, but travels across the Southeast.

Jazz says pumping is a wide spread practice by transvestites. "Other drag queens who want to look like a woman. A lot of people can't afford real plastic surgery. So if you can get your breasts done for $15,000 instead of three to six thousand dollars, you will go ahead and do it."

Jazz thinks many transvestites will continue pumping, even risking death to look more like a woman.

In November, a Florida man was sentenced to 30 years in prison after a woman died following a similar back-alley cosmetic procedure.

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posted at 4:20PM by dave.miller@walb.com