A gay man has died after injecting silicone into his genitals.
28-year-old Jack Chapman (also known as Tank Heathcliff Hafertepen) died on the morning of 15 October at the Swedish Medical Center hospital in Seattle, Washington.
‘Silicon Injection Syndrome’ was listed as one of four causes of death, according to the death certificate.
The other causes of death were all related to his lungs. These were diffuse alveolar haemorrhage (bleeding into the lungs), acute respiratory distress (lung failure) and pneumonitis (inflamation of the lungs).
Chapman was in a pup/master BDSM relationship with UX designer/developer Dylan Hafertepen (widely known as ‘noodlesandbeef’ on various social media platforms). BDSM relates to a variety of erotic practices and roleplaying, including bondage, dominance and submission.
Originally from Australia, Chapman lived with Hafertepen, Hafertepen’s husband, and three other men with whom Hafertepen has relationships, in Seattle, WA.
Health risks of silicone in genitals
Chapman has previously posted images of himself with enlarged genitalia. He was known for injecting large quantities of saline solution into his scrotum.
On Tumblr postings, he had also talked about injecting silicone into his scrotum and penis.
There can be ‘horrendous complications’ for silicone use in penile or genitalia enhancements, according to a 2012 study.
Silicone injections to the genitals can cause abnormal swelling, penile distortion and can elicit an ‘immunological response’.
If the silicone enters the bloodstream, it can lead to fluid accumulation and bleeding in the lungs.
Several people have died after injecting silicone into their buttocks. Silicone injected into male genitalia is less common but no less dangerous.
The 2012 study of silicone injection also stated: ‘An affordable and cheap alternative to penile enlargement lured our patients into succumbing to such practices by non-medical personnel which resulted in gross distortion and sexual dysfunction.’
Seattle Police Public Affairs said they are not treating Chapman’s death as suspicious.
A spokesperson told Gay Star News: ‘The Seattle Police Department and King County Medical Examiner’s office have reviewed the medical file related to this death, as well as concerns from the community.
‘There is no criminal investigation at this time,’ the spokesperson added.
Body modification and silicone injection use
Jack Chapman and Dylan Hafertepen were both very active on social media. People have been posting screenshots from Chapman’s now-deleted Tumblr page, where he specifically mentions his silicone use.
Among them is a post where he addresses the silicone injections to his genitals.
‘What’s my secret? Since November 2014, I’ve been having liquid silicone injected into my penis and scrotum under the supervision of a healthcare professional, who has high amount of experience performing this procedure.’
An anonymous Tumblr user asked: ‘Can I ask who and where you got your silicone done?’
Chapman replied: ‘I have a guy in Sacramento who is a champ…’
He continued: ‘The reason I shared this detail about myself was because I believe I owed it to the intelligence of my readers. I am noticeably bigger, and will continue [to] get bigger into the future – a cursory glance to my readers by misleading them or pretending that nothing has happened when it obviously had.
‘It’s a part of me. It’s a part of my story and I’m happy to talk about it,’ he said.
He then emphasized: ‘This procedure can have major health risks if done incorrectly. It is an unregulated and unapproved body modification.’
Gay Star News has not been able to confirm when Chapman made the Tumblr posts, as his page was deactivated following his death. His Instagram has also disappeared.
Social media tribute
A friend of Chapman’s, Chuck Osborn took to Chapman’s Facebook on 16 October to post a tribute. Osborn is also in a relationship with Dylan Hafertepen.
Signed at the bottom as the ‘Executor of Tank Hafertepen’s Estate’, the post said: ‘The world has lost one of its brightest lights.’
Osborn continued in the post: ‘Our precious Tank Hafertepen, 28, passed away this week due to a previously undiagnosed lung ailment.
‘He is survived by his partner, Dylan Hafertepen, his mother and brother in Australia, and his loving chosen family in Seattle. We are absolutely devastated as Tank ends his adventure with us and begins a new one,’ he said.
The post later outlined Chapman’s final few days: ‘Tank had a persistent cough for several months. Otherwise, he seemed fine, doing the things he loved – working out, caring for clients as part of Lifelong AIDS Alliance, and spending time with his family.
‘Until a week ago when he had trouble breathing and was admitted to the hospital with what we figured was a routine infection.
‘It turned out to be much more.
‘He fought very hard, seeming to get a tiny bit better day by day, until the terrible moment that we were told nothing more could be done.
‘After helping people, Tank’s greatest passion was for his partner, Dylan,’ he said. ‘Together for over eight years, their love overcame challenges the size of continents, and persisted as an unbreakable bond. Tank’s devotion and love for his partner was absolute.
‘Tank’s final words to Dylan were “Thank you for allowing me to serve you.”’
Comment from Master Dylan Hafertepen
Gay Star News reached out to Dylan Hafertepen for comment. He initially agreed to an interview, saying he wanted ‘Tank to be remembered with dignity’.
When we asked him questions surrounding Chapman’s use of silicone and potential use of steroids, he then declined to speak at length to us.
He wrote in an email: ‘Tank was an incredible man and I don’t want him remembered by the thing that contributed to his death.’
In a posting to his own noodlesandbeef website, Hafertepen said: ‘If [Tank] was my world, I was his sun; he made me feel like the center of his universe.
‘To say I “miss him” is an understatement.
‘Core to his identity was his service. He lived to help people, and was happiest helping those he loved.
‘I love you, Tank. My best friend, partner, my world…my pup,’ he furthermore said.
Chapman’s mother, Linda, who lives in Melbourne, also declined to talk to Gay Star News.