Botox-Facts About Botulism

Yvonne Perry

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When my grandmother was a young woman, she was concerned with food poisoning from botulism. Those were the days when produce from the garden was preserved or canned at home. Most food poisoning was caused from the insterile environment of the canning process or from not being properly heated before consumption. Proper heating requires that the food be boiled for ten minutes in order to kill the toxin.

Botulism-causing clostridium botulinum bacteria and their spores are found in fruits, vegetables and seafood worldwide. The bacteria and spores themselves are harmless, but as the bacteria grows, it produces a dangerous substance called botulinum toxin that may enter the human body through contaminated food or exposure in an open wound. Once the toxin is in the body, it irreversibly binds to nerve endings where the muscles and the nerves join. The toxin blocks the release of acetylcholine thereby rendering the nerves unable to send signals to the muscles to contract. Weakness and paralysis starts in the head and moves downward through the body affecting the person’s ability to breathe. About eight percent of those who contract botulism will die. For those who survive, recovery may take years.

Today we don’t worry too much about botulism in our kitchen, but did you know that there is another way to put botulinum toxin into your face other than through your mouth? Yes, it is called Botox—short for botulinim toxin and thousands of people hoping to stay young looking are receiving injections at Botox parties. Few of them realize the risk they are taking.

During World War II, botulinum toxin used developed and used as a biological weapon of warfare. It is the most poisonous substance known to man. After the Persian Gulf War, Iraq admitted to having produced and loaded into bombs and military weapons enough concentrated botulinum toxin to kill the entire current human population by inhalation.

Bonnie and Eric Kaplan, a Florida couple, went for Botox injections at a doctor’s office in November of 2004. The doctor did not inject them with FDA-approved Botox. Instead, he used raw botulinum toxin he bought over the Internet and did not properly dilute before injecting several patients including himself. The Kaplans received as much as 2,000 times the clinical dosage—enough to kill 2,800 people. What happened to them has never happened to anyone before. The Kaplans’ goal is for it to never happen again.

Dying to Be Young: From Botox to Botulism – A True Story of Survival is a chronological account of the Kaplan’s story. The first chapter opens with Eric in extreme pain. He cannot move a muscle and wonders if he is dead. While loved ones hover around him, offering words of encouragement, he finds himself unable to answer them or communicate at all. In fact, he cannot breathe on his own. Machines are doing the work for him as he lies in a hospital bed ompletely and utterly helpless. Even worse, his beloved spouse, Bonnie, is lying in the next bed over in the exact same state.

Dying to be Young, From Botox to Botulism is a “A True Story of Survival” and a must-read for any one who has received or is considering Botox injections or for anyone who has followed the Kaplans’ story in the news. It will also interest those who are curious about near-death experience and spirit communication with deceased loved ones. Eric had three angelic encounters during the days following the poisoning. The book will also appeal to those who are victims of medical malpractice, and people who are searching for spiritual insight regarding the body’s natural healing ability.

Dr. Kaplan emerged with his own personal mission: to warn the public of the dangers of Botox and to help people discover and learn to appreciate their own inner beauty. You may purchase his book or read press releases and articles about the Kaplan couple, view media footage during their recovery and preview the first chapter of the book at Now on, Dying to be Young, From Botox to Botulism– A True Story of Survival will be available in bookstores nationwide on April 1, 2007. For speaking engagements and book publicity, please contact Maryglenn McCombs at Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer and editor who assisted the Kaplan’s in telling their story. Listen to an interview with Dr. Kaplan on Yvonne’s podcast Writers in the Sky on February 16, 2007 at Yvonne is available to assist you with telling your story. See for more information about her writing services, newsletter, podcast and blog. marketing.


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