Dublin woman Kate Murray says she'll never wear a swimsuit again after a botched boob job by infamous cosmetic surgeon Dr Marco Loiacono.
Kate (26) from Dun Laoghaire attended Dr Loiacono in Cosmedico Clinic, Co Wicklow, in March 2008 for a breast augmentation which she had been considering for years.
She developed a serious infection after her surgery and, even though she appealed for Dr Loiacono's help repeatedly, the infection was not diagnosed until she was taken by ambulance to St Vincent's Hospital on April 3.
Kate has undergone 12 surgeries and skin grafts since the botched boob job, and she now has a huge indent under her left breast. She will require further surgery to fill this in.
She told the Herald: "He lacks something vital -- compassion for people. I just don't think he has any idea nor does he care what he puts people through.
"He's never acknowledged that he's done anything wrong. Or said, 'yes I'm sorry, it was my fault'. I think he thinks he's some sort of surgical god.
"I was going home in excruciating pain. I didn't get painkillers for nine days, and I was taken off them then and told to drink lots of water."
Kate says her problems began about three days after her surgery when the pain got worse, but she was led to believe by Dr Loiacono that her pain was relating to "superficial" problems.
But by the time she reached St Vincent's she was severely sick with sepsis and close to building necrotising fasciitis, commonly known as flesh-eating disease, which is a life-threatening condition.
She recalled: "My surgery was fine. It was three days after it that I was in a lot of pain. I was going back to the clinic only to be told that there was nothing wrong, 'it's superficial'. I really believed everything he was saying and I thought I was going to be fine. I just thought that it was something that came with having an operation.
"I had hit a point where I could not get up, but all he would say is 'your wounds are superficial, you don't have an infection'. He always said that I did not have an infection, he still says it.
"At one point, he told me to just go home and make an effort and try and get dressed. At that stage I couldn't even hold the phone to ring my mum but I was trying to dress myself.
"My mum called the GP and I knew I was sick when he came to the house and said 'I want her to go to the hospital in an ambulance now'."
Kate almost suffered a nervous breakdown when she was left to deal mentally and physically with the deep wounds and scarring.
"It was full of sepsis. And they couldn't remove all of the infection by cutting away at the tissue. There was gangrene there. And when the infection wouldn't go away, they had to insert a sack with tubes which would suck all of the infection out.
"For the first seven months, I couldn't understand why I looked like that. The area on the left side, the indent is about the size of the palm of my hand. I won't wear a swimsuit now, I'll only wear a T-shirt.
"My mam thought I was having a breakdown. I was upset, I was a different person, I didn't want to be hugged. I didn't want my boyfriend near me even though he'd been so good to me during it all, and I didn't want to go out.
"I used to cry, and constantly think about the doctors and the clinic, and I'd have nightmares about my surgery."
Now Kate cannot wear a bra like other women, and she will undergo more surgery at the end of the year which she hopes will fill in the indent.
"I've been told that if I'd been seen up to a week after the surgery, I'd never have suffered and I wouldn't have had the scarring that I do now.
"It's like he saw me as a piece of moulding clay. It makes me really worried for people to know that he's still working, but I'm a firm believer that somewhere along the line, he is going to get into a lot of trouble.
"Three years on, I'm still trying to fix the damage that's there. I don't find it really painful but I wouldn't want to sleep on my front, or wear a bra, or dig my elbows into it. The pain goes right down to my abdomen.
"The Medical Council hearing did give me completion. When they found him guilty on 14 counts, I just thought to myself, 'this is better than I thought'.
"I'm back in hospital tomorrow and the plan is to have more surgeries over four months."
The Medical Council found Dr Loiacono guilty of veteran bungle last May, and it endorsed that he be struck off.
Kate is now in the process of bringing a case to the High Court, after which she says she will try not to think about Dr Loiacono again.