Rachel Coloyan screamed one morning in February 2016 as her body began to shake. Coloyan, then 23, started having seizures that month, but the cause remained a frightening conundrum that blood tests, MRIs, CT scans, and a team of physicians had failed to unlock. Before the mysterious condition began, Coloyan, a Florida native, had loved horseback riding, hiking, and traveling. That all changed in 2012, as she was preparing for her second year of pre-med studies at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. When climbing a flight of stairs, she was struck with overwhelming dizziness. “From that day on,” Coloyan says, “I was never the same person.” She began “blacking out,” racing out of classes to vomit, and dragging a chair into the shower to avoid prolonged standing. Eventually, her mobility diminished so much that she had to move in with her parents so they could care for her. “Thousands of dollars in medical bills later, no one could tell me what was happening,” she says.
The turning point came in the summer of 2016 when Coloyan discovered a Facebook group full of women with whom she shared two common denominators: They were all sick—in fact, they had remarkably similar symptoms—and they all had breast implants. All along, Coloyan had thought she was alone in her suffering, but here were thousands of women gripped by the same maddening chokehold. “I’d been desperate for answers for so long,&