As you may remember, Margot had consulted Victor for weight loss after he cured her adolescent daughter of alopecia. She lives in my neighborhood, so I dropped by for a visit one afternoon in early April. She made me a cup of coffee, and we settled down on her beige velveteen couch, which was covered with magazines and knitting. “Did you know about all those legal cases against Victor?” I asked, kicking off my shoes and curling my legs under me.
Margot picked up a ball of yarn. “I knew there’d been some,” she said.
“Did you know that one involved a death?”
Margot glanced at me over the rims of her cheaters. “Yes,” she said slowly. “A girl in Plano, Texas when he had a clinic there.”
“Do you know what happened?”
Margot picked up her knitting needles. She was working on a sweater for her daughter, Gina, who was completing a graduate degree in geophysics at Stanford. Since the advent of Trump, Margot had been knitting like a fiend. “Only a little,” she said, clicking her needles fast. “Victor had been treating her for obesity and she lost a ton of weight. I guess there was a big to-do about it. She died of a heart attack, but it wasn’t his fault.”
“How do you know?”
“Well, he’d been treating her with ephedra, which at the time was legal. But it turned out she’d also been taking amphetamines that she’d gotten from a friend right before she died. So the case was dropped.”
“That’s right. But it caused enough of a problem for Victor to shut down his clinic and move to Austin.”
“Did it make you worry about being his patient?”
“Not for a minute. He did such a brilliant job with Gina that I knew he could help me. And he did help – I lost forty pounds under his care and never a problem. It was easy, effortless.” She paused for a moment, remembering. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy or confident as at that time. It was as if he wasn’t only treating my body, but my whole psyche.”
As with the girl who died, Victor put Margot on a regime of herbs, diet, and exercise that gave steady, measurable results. She never experienced lightheadedness, or heart palpitations, or dry mouth, or any of a host of symptoms that would have indicated trouble with the protocol she was on. I decided Victor was a brilliant, if slightly unorthodox, doctor and to leave it at that. An unorthodox doctor would inevitably have invited multiple lawsuits, such as those mounted against Victor and his father and grandfather before him. But then I stumbled on something possibly related to Victor’s case that really blew my mind.
To be continued…
Cover photo ~ http://www.morehousefarm.com/KnittingEssentials/Yarn/Bulky/Variegated/