PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia woman dubbed "the Black Madam" used silicone from Thailand and Krazy Glue to perform at-home cosmetic surgery that left an exotic dancer with a plump derriere – and potentially deadly complications, the dancer testified Wednesday.
Padge Windslowe charged $1,000 to perform injections on a dining room table at "pumping parties," 23-year-old Shurkia King testified. But King suffered severe respiratory problems afterward and spent two weeks in the hospital. A doctor testified that he found silicone particles on her lungs that could have killed her.
A judge Wednesday order Windslowe, 42, to stand trial on charges that include aggravated assault, practicing medicine without a license and theft by deception.
Police believe Windslowe also injected 20-year-old London tourist Claudia Aderotimi, who died last year after a pumping party at a Philadelphia airport hotel. Aderotimi complained of chest pain and difficulty breathing following the procedure. No charges have been filed in that case as detectives await extensive autopsy test results.
King heard about the London woman's death on the news and asked Windslowe about it, King said.
"She said she didn't kill the girl, (that) she was high," King said.
Windslowe, who wore a sleek black outfit to court, did not testify at the hearing and showed little outward reaction to the testimony. She remains in jail on $750,000 bail.
Philadelphia police believe she has performed at least 14 cosmetic surgeries, moving locations to avoid detection.
King, slender and modestly dressed, described the defendant's technique in her hour-long testimony. She said she learned about Windslowe through fellow dancers. She said she thought Windslowe was a nurse.
King first had the procedure done at a friend's house on New Year's Eve. All went well, so she went back for more in February, she said. She and four others waited upstairs, while one-by-one the women went down for the five-minute injections, King testified.
King said the needles looked clean, although she found it odd that the silicone was in a water bottle. As before, she got four injections that added a cup of silicone to her buttocks. But one of the injections seemed to go in wrong, and left her leg shaking, she said.
"She (Windslowe) said, `Just breathe. It's OK. It's OK,'" King said.
King's oxygen level was "dangerously low" when she arrived at a hospital two days later, a doctor testified. She spent about a week in intensive care and used an oxygen tank to breathe until two weeks ago, when she returned to work, the doctor and King both testified.
The silicone particles attached to her lungs are diffuse and too small to remove surgically, Dr. Arka Banerjee of Lankenau Medical Center testified.
On cross-examination, the doctor acknowledged that medical records show King to be a daily smoker and marijuana user.
A prosecutor asked if she could live a normal life.
"It's possible. If she gets an illness, maybe not," Banerjee said.
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