Two months after the suicide of FOX 2 meteorologist Jessica Starr, details have emerged about the broadcaster's complications from laser vision correction surgery.
"Dan, it's like my eyes and my brain aren't communicating like they used to," Starr said when asked what was wrong. "I can't process like I used to. I'm not visualizing things like I used to."
The link between Lasik procedures and suicide is not unique to Starr's case. Last year, The New York Times reported on documented cases of painful side effects and vision anomalies resulting from laser vision correction surgery. In some rare cases, the chronic pain and blurred vision experienced by patients after the procedure was so great that it had driven some patients to suicide. There's also a website, LasikSuicides.com that highlights the corruption in Lasik's clinical trials and shares the stories of those who have been affected.
Controversy regarding Lasik goes as far back as 2008 when dissatisfied Lasik patients pleaded before the FDA for more transparency regarding the procedure's risks and long-term side effects. The patients also petitioned the FDA to implement more strict eligibility requirements for interested candidates. At the time of the hearing, it was estimated that "fewer than one percent of patients" experience "severe complications" and "poor vision."
Following the tragedy, Starr's family are focused on caring for her two small children and making it known that there are risks associated with an operation that is often advertised as something one could do on a lunch break.
"We want to try to help somebody," Rose says. "If we can save one life and at least make somebody aware, even a spouse, if a husband gets this procedure, I want the wife to just watch for signs."
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255 or text 741-741) which provides free and confidential emotional support 24/7.
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