Woman With Eye-Eating Parasite Had To Stay Awake For Week

| by Michael Allen

Jessica Greaney, a student at the University of Nottingham in the UK, recently had to stay awake for a week in order for doctors to stop a parasite from eating the inside of the cornea of her eye.

The 18 year old had eye drops placed in her eye every ten minutes while in a hospital for seven days to get rid of Acanthamoeba Keratitis, a parasite that got into her eyeball via her contact lens, which had some normal tap water splashed on it, reports The Telegraph.

Greaney originally believed that she had an infection in her eye, which doctors had misdiagnosed as an ulcer.

The microscopic parasite can cause vision problems, paralysis and death, if it is able to eat through the eye and get into the spinal cord.

Greaney told The Tab, a student newspaper, about the nightmare she endured:

They had to keep me awake for a week. It was torture - she had to hold my eye open and squirt a few droplets in.

Even if I had managed to nod off, I could only get a couple of minutes' sleep before I was woken again. This parasite was still eating my eye and even worse, my immune system was shutting down because of my lack of sleep.

Greaney also warned other contact lens wearers:

If so much as a droplet of water gets into contact with the lens, problems can occur. I got my infection by just leaving my contact lenses near my sink, in a glass of solution.

Greaney told the Daily Mirror, "I still have the parasite in my eye. It's hard to say how long it takes to get rid of it."

The teen is out of the hospital, but is taking 22 eye drops a day.

Sources: The Telegraph, Tab, Daily Mirror
Image Credit: Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator