A model has experienced horrific side effects after getting a scleral tattoo – a squeamish procedure where the white of a person’s eye is injected with dye.
24-year-old Catt Gallinger from Ottawa, Canada has experienced blurred and permanently damaged vision following her unusual tattoo – it’s left her with purple ink leaking from her painfully swollen eye.
Catt is now in such extreme discomfort, she says she would rather just have the eye removed than continue in her current state.
Within just 24 hours of getting the risky procedure, Catt was in agony.
She’s since undergone a number of treatments, with the hope of restoring her vision and is now waiting to have an operation, where the ink filled flap of her eye will be removed.
However, she doesn’t have much time and once the ink is solidified, the only course of action will be to remove the damaged eye completely.
Catt told Global News:
There have been a lot of times where I’ve thought, if I have to live like this for the rest of my life, I’d rather get [my eye] taken out.
In a distressing Facebook post, Catt revealed the extent of her unhappiness to her friends:
So it’s now uncovered..back to meds and figuring out my appointment next week to hopefully get sedated surgery..
This is beyond heartbreaking.
I CANNOT open it at all without significant effort.
Since I’ve always been honest on here, I will continue to be. My hope is gone. I’m very close to asking for removal.. I’m so tired of it all.
In another Facebook post Catt said:
Sorry I haven’t answered many comments or messages. I’ve been sleeping a lot and just very tired in general. Here’s how my eye is currently, photos as well as a video of it.
It’s sore and feels heavy, for lack of a better word, often.
I go through a bottle of artificial tears every two-three days.
Still on all the same medications. Appointment on Friday in the early morning to take another look at it and discuss the sedated surgery option.
After Catt’s story went viral, the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (EPSO) began a petition to make scleral tattoos illegal.
EPSO have made the following statement in a handout where they refer to Catt’s situation:
Ophthalmologists around the world are experiencing increasing numbers of patients with blindness and loss of an eye because of the increasing popularity of eyeball tattooing,
The risky act of tattooing an eye is being performed by untrained individuals who have no knowledge of the eye’s delicate anatomy.
Ocular and periocular injections should only be performed by a licensed medical physician due to the high risks associated with blindness and infections of the eye.
Hopefully Catt’s story will make others think twice before trying out this dangerous body modification practice.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.