A self-described psychic and influencer has shared how she reached “breaking point” over criticism of plans to crowdfund an elective surgery.
Leila Stead is raising money to have her breast implants removed after experiencing “extreme symptoms” a decade after the first operation.
Ms Stead’s sister, Elle, launched the GoFundMe campaign after revealing her sister was considering selling her car to fund the surgery.
In an Instagram post, Ms Stead described the implants she received in her 20s as “toxic” and a “ticking time bomb” of illness.
“Someone told me yesterday, ‘it’s so great you’re back to yourself’, and while I feel I have better tools to manage this breast implant illness I won’t be ‘better’ until they are out and possibly for some time after,” she said.
“My implants are also the toxic ‘polytech implants’ which have the highest risk of BIA ALCL (breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma), a cancer which forms from the fluid and scar tissue near the implant.
“I’ve had these implants since 2012.”
The Therapeutic Goods Administration revoked approval for three breast implants in October 2020 over concerns about BIA-ALCL.
The ban included two products produced by German-based Polytech Health & Aesthetics GmbH, trading in Auburn as JT Medical Pty Ltd.
Elle described her sister as a “pillar for women all over the world” and said the implants had landed her in hospital EDs three times.
“My sister is a single mum, feeling the pressure of the rising cost of living, experiencing debilitating symptoms limiting her ability to work as a sole income earner for her family,” Elle wrote.
“The biggest concern we have is these toxic ingredients cause breast implant illness that will cause her body to shut down, or she will be diagnosed with cancer as a result of these toxins.
“Time is of the essence, Leila’s body is not coping with the toxic overload … and it will cost around $13,000 – $14,000.”
Since the campaign went live, Ms Stead said she had been forced to defend herself against “relentless trolls”.
“As someone who is already struggling immensely, the consistent trolling and hate tirade defaming my name, slandering my name, abusing me and calling me all kinds of names, I have reached breaking point,” she wrote.
“I can’t do this anymore, I can’t fight anymore, I can’t defend myself against this onslaught of hatred that’s continued for the last seven years. Because I don’t support like any other human being? I don’t deserve the help?”
The pushback isn’t the first Ms Stead, who is based in Byron Bay, has faced as a self-described psychic and astrologist.
Ms Stead drew criticism on social media in late-2021 when she compared Queensland’s Covid quarantine facilities to concentration camps.
She regularly shared vaccine and Covid misinformation on her Instagram account during the pandemic.
More recently, she has used her Instagram account to document the journey around her implant removal.
“I will not be quiet about this,” she wrote.
“I got these on a whim in my 20s, I was told they are the best and a quick Google search of polytech implants will show you that still are.
“You have to dig through the information to find out the harsh reality that they actually can give you cancer.
“So many other women aren’t aware of what is causing their mystery illnesses.
“If you have implants, that’s the first place I would begin to investigate.
“Please know that breast implant illness is real, it’s not rare.
“If you have implants you’re a ticking time bomb to experiencing all the symptoms I have and more.”
On August 1, Ms Stead shared a video appearing to show her preparing to undergo treatment.
She wrote: “First I thought it would kill me. Then I thanked it for showing me.
“And now I’m just grateful I didn’t just survive it but I thrived.”