Apryl Michelle Brown was always teased about her flat butt, sometimes referred to as a “pancake” booty by her friends and family. In November’s Essence, she recounts her story on how she wanted to have a larger behind. Eventually she saved up enough money, but her story doesn’t necessarily have a good ending.  “I didn’t know if I wanted to look like Janet Jackson or J. Lo., I just wanted a new, bigger booty.”

Unfortunately this quest for a bigger booty has left Brown without her legs and arms. In 2004, Brown, didn’t go to a plastic surgeon, but instead she found an unlicensed person to inject industrial-grade silicone into her behind.

According to Brown, she doesn’t remember how much she paid for the injections, but eventually the area of injection became irritated and painful. Two years later, the silicone hardened and caused her to have an infection. The infections eventually got so bad, she had to have her limbs amputated. In Essence, she warns women about the hazards of pumping parties.  “I was left here for a purpose,” she says. “I have to get the word out so that nobody else makes this choice.”

Brown isn’t the only one to have adverse side effects after having silicone illegally injected. Padge Gordon, a Philadelphia woman known as “the Black Madam,” injected Claudia Aderotimi with silicone to enlarge her butt and then sealed the wounds with Krazy Glue, according to authorities and new witness testimony describing the incident. According to the LA Times, since 2002, authorities across the country have investigated more than a dozen deaths related to illegal buttocks injections.

Eight people were convicted of practicing medicine without a license or similar offenses. Two others were convicted of negligent homicide or manslaughter.

As more women strive for bigger assets at a cheaper price, more of these ‘pump shops’ will show up. And unfortunately more tragic stories will also happen. A larger butt definitely isn’t worth a life or limbs.

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