Amazingly, the cosmetic surgery industry is apparently worth some $20 billion. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that crooks are keen to muscle in on this lucrative market. So when this woman met a “doctor” at a cosmetics party, he promised her a younger look – but her dreams soon turned into a full-blown nightmare.
Rajee Narinesingh is a Florida-based author, actress and has been an LGBTQ activist for almost 20 years. And although she hasn’t always been a woman, she can still remember the day she realized that she actually was one.
Now 48, New York-born Narinesingh recalled in a 2014 interview the moment she had her revelation. According to the Daily Mail, she said, “Up until I was in my mid-twenties I just thought I was a feminine gay male.” But she had seen clues of her true gender when she was a kid.
Narinesingh continued, “I thought about all the things I did when I was growing up – like taking the basketball my dad had bought me and instead of playing basketball with it I was simulating pregnancy and pretending to give birth and be a mommy.” And there were other hints later on in life, too.
She added, “When I used to fantasize about being with guys I used to always picture myself with breasts and a vagina. I didn’t realize I was doing it, it was just so natural for me. One day I just connected all the dots and thought, ‘You’re not gay, you’re transgender.’”
As part of her transition to her true gender, Narinesingh went to a “pumping party.” Pumping parties involve a single practitioner at the same session giving cheap cosmetic treatments – often silicone injections – to a group of people. There are, however, risks.
For example, some parties take place in less than sterile environments. And sometimes the “pumper” lacks proper medical qualifications. In 2005, then, Narinesingh went to a party hosted by Oneal Ron Morris. Although she knew Morris was not licensed, Narinesingh was still excited about the procedure.
Narinesingh recounted, “I was more excited than nervous because I was finally going to be the woman I had always wanted to be.” The “party” took place in what appeared to be a sterile room, with the procedures carried out soon after she arrived. “Initially I was fine,” Narinesingh said. “But then the nightmare started.”
In fact, she would develop a sizable swelling on her face that grew bigger over the next few days. Over time, the swellings would solidify, leaving her with unsightly lumps under the surface of her skin. Indeed, the results of the procedure were so awful that Narinesingh would have to spend years in hiding.
It turned out that “Doctor” Morris was practicing with forged credentials. In fact, Morris was a trans woman known as Duchess. And Narinesingh had paid only $100 to have Morris inject what she thought was medical-grade silicon into her face, her buttocks and her breasts.
Narinesingh didn’t know, however, that medical silicone is actually illegal in the United States. So what Morris had injected into Narinesingh’s face was actually cement and tire glue, just like the kind you can buy from Home Depot.
Naturally, using off-the-shelf fillers, such as the silicone that’s used to make a waterproof seal on bathtubs or window frames, can cause serious medical issues. So while the results may seem fine at first, the body will soon reject the foreign substance, and lumps and solid areas will develop around the area. This is exactly what happened to Narinesingh.
With unsightly lumps disfiguring her face, Narinesingh felt too ashamed to go to authorities about her ordeal and so spent the next few years hiding away. “I felt like a monster, a sideshow circus clown,” she said. In time, though, she felt brave enough to seek help to fix the mess that Morris had made of her face.
Yes, in 2012 Narinesingh paid a visit to Coral Gables Cosmetic Reconstructive Surgery’s Dr. John Martin in Florida. She had laser surgery and a course of injections in order to soften the cement. Then, three years later, she turned to TV show Botched. Sadly, the experts on the show felt surgery to remove the lumps was too much of a risk.
However, Dr. Terry Dubrow was still keen to help Narinesingh. So within 12 months, Narinesingh visited Botched again. And although the doctors harbored concerns that they could worsen her condition, they acknowledged that earlier steroid injections had had a positive effect on the bumps on Narinesingh’s face.
So, over time, Narinesingh would undergo several surgeries to extract the lumps of cement from her face. First of all, doctors cut a small piece from her chin so that they could observe the results or any complications. When that proved successful, they began to tackle the much larger, golfball-sized nodules in her cheeks.
Dr. Dubrow operated with delicate precision. Using a bone saw, he cut away the cement from Narinesingh’s face, taking care to not hack any nerves or muscles. And though the doctors had once thought it impossible, her surgery proved to be a complete success. After a rest at home, then, Narinesingh’s skin was almost back to normal.
So, having spent years in isolation, Narinesingh was ready to face the world again. Thanking the medical experts who helped her, she has said that she has turned from “victim to victorious.” In fact, her confidence has grown so much that she began to tackle the dating circuit again.
In May 2016 the British Metro newspaper reported Narinesingh as saying, “It’s a pretty major improvement. I look in the mirror and think, ‘Wow!’ The men situation is better. I get approached a lot more and they seem to be really attracted to me. I’m excited about the future and the wonderful possibilities it holds for me.”
Meanwhile, the authorities imprisoned Morris for carrying out medical procedures without a proper license. They even added manslaughter to her charges when a client died as a result of Morris’ misconduct. As for Narinesingh, she just hopes that others won’t repeat her mistakes. “My message to anyone that would consider doing what I did is not to do it,” she said. “Don’t do it, because you could die from it.”