Cosmetic surgeon Patrick Treacy shares how his wealthy clients were driven to suicide
CELEBRITY cosmetic surgeon Patrick Treacy has spoken of his horror of losing five of his patients to suicide as they lost millions in the Celtic Tiger crash.
Ublin-based Dr Treacy, who was Michael Jackson’s doctor while living in Ireland 15 years ago, was himself a victim of the recession and had to lay off several staff and move to reduce costs. costs.
Patients who died were receiving Botox and lip fillers at his Ailesbury clinic in Ballsbridge.
“The biggest problem, and I hate to say that, it was all of our patients who had the most money and that’s why they committed suicide,” he told Sunday World.
“There was a reverse relationship because these are all people who committed suicide because of financial loss. So in a way, they were also our highest paying customers.”
Dr Treacy attended all of the funerals.
“There were four men and one woman,” he recalls. “Listening to some of the stories at the funeral was horrible. I don’t want to talk too much about it for reasons of confidentiality. Many of them had horrific deaths. “
He then drops the bombshell of the amounts his tragic patients have lost in the recession.
“The lowest lost four million and the highest lost 140 million euros,” he reveals.
Dr Treacy, from Garrison, Co. Fermanagh, was himself hit by the recession that began in 2008 and had to close his Cork clinic and a few others, as well as move the location of his base from Dublin to cut costs.
“I almost had to start from scratch but it’s now better than ever,” beams the doctor, who also does hair transplants and treats patients with Botox for migraine as well as cosmetic procedures.
“To be fair, it’s been a lot of years to put it back.”
Dr Treacy doesn’t think the current Covid crisis will be as bad as the Celtic Tiger bust, because at the time, economic issues were tied to property.
“I bought my apartment in 1993 for IR £ 90,000,” he explains of his notebook at the Sweepstakes in Ballsbridge. “It went up to 1.3 million euros when I was in Australia in 1996/1997. During the crash it went up to 350,000 euros and it went back up to around 550,000 euros, so I don’t think that these heady days will be with us again. “
His apartment building was flooded right after the accident and his dream Aston Martin car, along with dozens of vehicles belonging to other residents, were destroyed.
When Dr Treacy got the insurance payment for his car, he used it for severance pay for his staff in his Cork office. This Leeside office is now operational again.
Dr Treacy was voted the best cosmetic surgeon in the world and was trained at Queens University in Belfast and then at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin.
He has just published his new book The Needle and the Damage Done, which details his extraordinary life, including as a doctor in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Iraq, Scotland, Gibraltar, Liberia and as a ship surgeon in California.
While still a student, he spent time in France and Germany painting buildings before being caught in a car smuggling ring in Turkey, where he had to flee the country in case he was arrested. .
Dr Treacy underwent a baptism by fire on his first posting to the James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown, Dublin in the mid-1980s when he experienced a terrifying moment that could have cost him his life.
“I had a 17 year old heroin addict and I didn’t know he was a heroin addict,” he recalls. “He was having a panic attack and was turning blue. So I drew blood from him and knew I had to take blood from his artery and rolled him over to get one out of his hand.
“He thought I was looking for an opening. He had one he was using for the main line, he rolled over on the bed to show me where it was and dropped the syringe and the needle went. stuck in my leg. ‘Doctor, I’m HIV positive.’ It wasn’t on the graph. “
He looked at the nurse next to him and shouted “Almighty Christ!”
“I knew I had to be quick,” he continues. “I rushed to the theater and a friend of mine was there, a surgeon. I said ‘treat this like melanoma and cut it.’ At this point word had come out that I had been stabbed with a HIV needle and management were in arms with me.
“I was lucky. If you remember the HIV situation back then and all the commercials, it looked like whoever had it was going to die. I was in shock. HIV was fine. worse than Covid. “
While working in Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s reign, Dr Treacy decided to take a senseless trip to part of Kurdistan, a region the tyrant had just gassed.
The doctor took photos of the damaged area and also spoke to locals who told him how the poison had killed thousands of people. He had previously been warned that it was illegal to visit the area.
“When you grow up in Northern Ireland, you get tough on this stuff,” he says. “I was in three pub bombs before I left for the Royal College of Surgeons.
“In one of them, the guy behind me had his arm ripped off. It’s almost like you don’t go with a feeling of innocence.”
On the way back from Kurdistan, an army patrol surrounded Dr Treacy’s car, driven by a taxi driver he had hired. He managed to put the film roll from his camera onto a passing truck and only for that he might not be alive to tell the story today as the Iraqis at the time were hanging foreigners for espionage. .
Dr Treacy was taken to a cell and could hear the screams of other tortured prisoners.
“The main guy [interrogator] came down one morning and put a gun next to me and said ‘you think we are all barbarians’. I said no’. He said “I know James Joyce and I know Trinity College”. He manhandled me a bit, put his arm behind my back and threw me out. Then I had to walk the path of shame. “
Dr Treacy has many famous clients including famous singers and many RTE stars. The most famous person he cared for, Michael Jackson, became his friend from the first moment he walked into his clinic.
“He had shown me his wig and that his scalp was injured,” he recalls their first meeting.
“So in this context you get right to the point in a different way and your doctor mode kicks in and you kind of feel sorry for your patient.
“I had never seen this before. The injuries from the burns [from Jackson’s Pepsi advert accident] had stretched his skin. He was going to have a hair transplant. He also had vitiligo. I felt sorry for him. After a while he spoke about his story. He mentioned his oxygen chamber. He has become a friend. “
Anyone affected by this article can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or email [email protected]
The Needle And The Damage Done is out now, priced at € 29.95 / £ 25.99.