Pioneer Physician Treats Crime-Victim / Burn-Survivor with New Technology
Story of Shooting That Triggers Boiling Cooking Oil Burns
Victim: “I was Never Contacted By Law Enforcement”
Charitable Effort: Burn-Survivor Apparel & Child Burn-Survivor Book Sales
• Contact • Bryan Glazer • World Satellite Television News • 212-673-4400 / 561-374-1365 • Bryan@Televisionews.com •
Boynton Beach & Coconut Creek, Fla. – A South Florida crime-victim / burn-survivor is the first patient in the nation with severe crime-related injuries to be treated with the new, technologically-advanced Cutera Secret (NASDAQ: CUTR) fractional radio frequency micro-needling device, which was designed to treat skin aging, but is now being successfully used by a pioneering Palm Beach County physician to significantly reduce the visibility and improve the skin texture of scorched skin and grafting scars. Cutera, Inc. of Brisbane, California, which introduced the Cutera Secret earlier this year, says it is unaware of any other physician using the device for this purpose.
“This is an innovative and sophisticated system that is used to help diminish lines, wrinkles, and acne scars, however, I decided to use the Cutera Secret for something for which it was not initially-intended: to treat crime-related severe burn and skin-grafting scars,” says Robyn Siperstein, MD. She is a Boca Raton and Boynton Beach-based, board-certified dermatologist, and clinical research investigator. “The results are exceeding my expectations and the expectations of my peers. The outcome has been astounding.”
Dr. Sipertsein’s crime-victim / burn-survivor patient is 23-year-old Julie Saint-Fleur (Flare) of Coconut Creek. She was seriously burned in conjunction with a shooting incident. Saint-Fleur says she was working her way through college at a food concession outside a Fort Lauderdale nightclub. She says at about 3:30 AM on July 21, 2016 two men on the serving line started arguing. The argument erupted in gunfire. The crowd dispersed. Saint-Fleur says she fled for safety – dodging bullets. In the midst of chaos, a deep fryer, used to cook chicken and shrimp, toppled and boiling cooking oil went flying-in-the-air and splattered Saint-Fleur’s back, hips, buttocks, thighs, and legs. More than 30 percent of her body was severely burned.
“I underwent four surgeries, endured months of physical therapy, could not move without a walker, was confined to my bed — isolated from society, and was shunned by people who I thought were my friends,” says Saint-Fleur “The Cutera Secret treatments are significantly reducing and lightening my scars — giving me hope of returning to a true quality-of-life.”
The 2017 NOVA Southeastern University School of Education graduate says the life-altering event derailed her aspirations of becoming a school teacher. “Before receiving the Cutera Secret treatments I could never see myself standing in front of a classroom of elementary school-aged children, who probably would be snickering at my scars; asking all sorts of questions,” says Saint-Fleur. “However, now that the Cutera Secret is helping to fade those scars, I have renewed confidence and I feel better physically and emotionally.” In addition to the Cutera Secret treatments, Saint-Fleur, routinely attends crime-victim / burn-survivor counseling.
About The Cutera Secret
Dr. Siperstein explains the device and process. “The Cutera Secret’s micro-needles penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and transmit a radio frequency.” She continues, “The current turns into heat, which induces new collagen formation. Collagen is the body’s most-abundant and naturally-occurring protein. It is the most important building block of skin. By generating new collagen, we are actually able to remodel the structure of the skin, thus, significantly reduce the signs of aging, and in this case, serious burns and skin grafting scars. The results, so far, have been remarkable.”
She continues, “Julie’s scars are devastating and a challenge to treat since they cover a large portion of her body,” says Dr. Siperstein. She is a Yale University School of Medicine graduate whose eight-year-old private-practice, Siperstein Dermatology Group, is one of a very few in the region providing Cutera Secret treatments.
TV’s The Doctors Announces Complimentary Treatments
Saint-Fleur was a guest on the December 11, 2018 episode of TV’s The Doctors. At the conclusion of the segment, the program’s host announced that she will receive complementary medical treatments for a year at Siperstein Dermatology Group. The segment was recorded in June 2018. The treatments began in July.
The Commitment to Treatment
“My medical practice was selected by The Doctors to treat a crime-victim / burn-survivor because of our dermatology group’s reputation of providing the most technologically-advanced treatments and because of our compassionate commitment to our patients,” explains Dr. Siperstein.
She continues, “I gain immense satisfaction working with all dermatologic patients because their conditions are out-there for the world to see and they are often judged on their appearances.” She continues, “It is very rewarding for me, as a doctor, to help burn-survivors — helping to diminish their scars, which are permanent reminders of the traumatic ordeal they have endured. It gives me great gratification to see them regain confidence and move-on with their lives.”
New vs. Old Technology
Dr. Siperstein emphasizes that the Cutera Secret is far-superior to older, now-inferior, laser and micro-needling systems that are still used at many other dermatology offices. These devices are not as effective and result in longer patient downtimes compared to the Cutera Secret, according to Dr. Siperstein. Skin treated with older laser devices take longer to heal. There are also side effects including soreness, irritation, and sometimes, discoloration, according to Dr. Siperstein. She emphasizes that older laser devices actually burn the top layer of skin and, often, darken the skin.
Cutera Secret treatments are highly-effective; have few, if any, side-effects, and almost no-downtime for most patients, according to Dr. Siperstein and other dermatologists using the system.
The average Cutera Secret treatment session, which begins with numbing the skin, lasts from 15 – 60 minutes, depending on the extent of the treatment area, according to Cutera, Inc. The cost of standard treatments is about $600. The treatment is not currently covered by traditional medical insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare. Less-effective, older laser treatments can cost nearly 40-percent more.
Holiday Charitable Outreach
In a unique doctor-patient relationship, Dr. Siperstein is supporting Saint-Fleur in her effort to increase public awareness of the plight of burn-survivors and to educate people about the newest medical technologies that help treat burn and skin-grafting scars.
Saint-Fleur is launching a holiday season per-purchase donation fundraiser for local burn-survivors through the sales of uniquely-designed casual apparel that blends the logo-image of a flame within an electro cardiogram pulse-line.
Saint-Fleur is also raising funds through the sales of her recently published children’s book entitled, “Lillian is Alright.” It is a fictional account, that closely parallels Saint-Fleur’s experience. The story is about a girl that is severely burned during a backyard barbequing, hot-oil accident. The girl is hospitalized but later returns to school and is embraced by her classmates.
Several copies of the book are found on the shelves of the library at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital Pediatric Burn Center. It is also available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
A link to Saint-Fleur’s e-commerce website, which features the book and burn-survivor apparel, can be found at www.SIPDerm.com.
Chronology of Events & The Doctors TV Appearance
Julie Saint-Fleur, 23, of Coconut Creek, says she was working her way through college at a food stand outside Fort Lauderdale’s notorious BAM (Broward Arts and Music) nightclub. It was located on the 2800 block of West Broward Boulevard. The club is now closed following a spate of violent incidents and killings from 2015 – 2017.
At about 3:30 AM on July 21, 2016, Saint-Fleur says she was working the food concession. Two men on the food-line started arguing. She says one of the men pulled-out a gun and started firing. The crowd outside the club dispersed.
“I was looking down the barrel of a gun; I turned and started running away,” recalls Saint-Fleur. “Suddenly, I felt a stinging pain in my lower back. I thought I’d been shot. I started screaming. Someone poured water on my body and told me it wasn’t a bullet that hit my back — it was hot cooking oil that flew-out of a deep fryer, used at the concession stand to cook chicken and shrimp. The fryer and oil apparently spilled during the chaos.”
Saint-Fleur says she called 9-11, “The dispatcher kept asking me questions; it seemed like an eternity.” She continues, “So I decided not to wait for an ambulance. A friend drove me to Plantation General Hospital. Doctors there told me they were ill-trained and ill-equipped to treat me. So, I was transported 40-minutes to Kendall Regional Medical Center in Miami.”
In the month that followed that fateful night in Fort Lauderdale, Saint-Fleur says she endured four skin-grafting surgeries. Doctors took healthy skin from various parts, mostly the front of the legs, of Saint-Fleur’s body and applied it, strip-by-strip, to her back, hips, buttocks, and legs.
“The pain was excruciating,” explains Saint-Fleur. “After the surgeries, I spent three months in physical therapy and rehab. In the beginning, I was unable to walk. Eventually, I was able to move with a walker. I was bed-ridden for nearly a year. My body was scarred. I was depressed. So many times I wanted to give-up. I felt I would never fulfill any of my life-dreams, but somehow, I found the strength to continue and overcome these obstacles and challenges.”
Saint-Fleur says she frequently experiences intermingled and confusing emotions. They range from anger, embarrassment, fear, frustration, low self-esteem, and more. “For 22 months now, I have been receiving treatment at the University of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital Burn Center to cope with the emotional damage.”
Social Media Activist
While bed-ridden, Saint-Fleur says she became very active on social media. “This became one of my few avenues to communicate and socialize with the outside world,” explains Saint-Fleur. “Through social media I am able to share experiences with other burn-survivors around the world.”
Nearly a year after the July 2016 Fort Lauderdale incident, Saint-Fleur says her social media postings caught the attention of a reporter at the The Daily Mirror in the U.K. Saint-Fleur’s story appeared in a full-page spread in the newspaper’s May 4, 2017 issue.
In June 2018, Saint-Fleur says she was contacted by an associate producer at The Doctors, who said she saw Saint-Fleur’s postings on Instagram.
“Later that month, I appeared, live, via Skype, from my Florida home, on a big-screen on the Hollywood set of the The Doctors. The episode aired on December 11, 2018. It was pre-recorded in June. “To my surprise, at the end of the segment, the host announced I would be receiving complimentary burn and scar healing treatments from Dr. Siperstein,” says Saint-Fleur.
Decide Course of Treatment
According to Saint-Fleur, she did not know what to expect when she met with Dr. Siperstein. “We discussed various treatment options.”
Saint-Fleur continues, “Dr. Siperstein told me she wanted to use the new Cutera Secret fractional radio frequency micro-needling medical device. As soon as I heard the word ‘needle,’ I cringed.” She adds, “Actually, it’s not really painful. I guess, it’s sort-of-like getting acupuncture. It’s the sensation of a small prick to the skin. But it is well worth the discomforting sensation versus surviving with these terrible wounds and scars.”
Five months have passed since Saint-Fleur’s first Cutera Secret treatment. She says, “I am starting to really feel and see the results.” Saint-Fleur continues, “Thanks to Dr. Siperstein and Cutera, I am starting to feel healthier and self-confident. This has given me motivation to realize that I will be able to fulfill my destiny in life as a woman; maybe I will go on to become a school teacher, a successful entrepreneur, established author, and, certainly, a burn-survivor activist.”
“Law Enforcement Never Contacted Me”
Julie Saint-Fleur is a crime-victim / burn-survivor of the July 21, 2016 shooting at the BAM Nightclub.
She says she was never contacted by investigators of the Broward Sherriff’s Office.
Saint-Fleur says while in the emergency room she believes another victim of the incident was lying on the gurney next to hers. According to the official BSO incident report, a deputy interviewed a man involved in the incident at Plantation General Hospital.
Saint-Fleur says weeks after the incident, she called BSO asking for a copy of the 9-1-1 telephone call recording. Saint-Fleur says her request was denied. Saint-Fleur says she neither asked for, nor did BSO recommend, that she be connected with the investigations division.
The BSO report lists the names of several victims associated with the incident, including one man who was shot three times and survived and a man that was struck by a car, when he ran into the street while fleeing the gunfire. He too survived.
The official report also lists 10 witnesses.
No arrests were made.
The BAM nightclub was also the scene of a November 25, 2015 murder of a man, whose body was found behind the building. One man was arrested.
In July 2017, two men were killed outside the entrance to the club. No arrests were made.
The BAM nightclub is now closed.
Paul Walsh, a former Florida felony court prosecutor, now a private-practicing criminal attorney in West Palm Beach, says, “It is disturbing that investigators did not track-down and interview Saint-Fleur, who, herself, may not only be a material witness but, possibly, a victim of, at the very-least, aggravated felony assault.” Walsh is not personally aware of the facts of this case. His impressions are based on this firm’s reporting of the facts to him.