The husband of a Michigan meteorologist who committed suicide has shared details about what his wife was going through for the first time.
Dan Starr, her husband, said that he’s learned more about what happened by pouring through a series of videos that Jessica Starr recorded on her phone in addition to a 30-page suicide note she left behind.
Dan Starr said that his wife underwent LASIK eye surgery and that had a negative impact on her.
In the days after the operation, she went to different doctors to seek advice on how to proceed.
“We were in our kitchen and I could tell she was upset and she had come home from like her 3rd or 4th second opinion,” Dan Starr told Fox 2. “I said, ‘What’s wrong? What is going on? What are you looking for? All of these doctors are telling you the same thing—what are you trying to find?'”
“She looked at me and she said, ‘Dan, it’s like my eyes and my brain aren’t communicating like they used to. I can’t process like I used to. I’m not visualizing things like I used to,'” he said.
He said he was sharing details about his wife because he wanted to raise awareness of the side effects of eye surgery.
— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) February 28, 2019
Starr said that his wife was a normal person who was not suffering from depression or alcohol abuse.
“Prior to the procedure, Jessica was completely normal, very healthy. There was no depression, there was no antidepressants, there was no underlying issue,” he said. “I want to make that absolutely clear. Jessica was incredibly normal—there wasn’t a long battle with depression. Again, there was no antidepressants, there was no alcohol abuse. There was nothing.”
Now, Dan Starr said he’s trying to focus on the two children he had with his wife, both of whom are under 6 years old.
“They’re trying to figure out what happened and where she’s at. She was here one day and she was gone the next,” he said. “We’ve had conversations about Jessica being in heaven and no longer being with us.”
Our hearts are broken. Last night we were informed our Jessica Starr took her life. Her Fox 2 family is deep shock and cannot believe such a wonderful, bright and intelligent woman is gone. Keep her family in your prayers in the coming days as we all deal with our grief. pic.twitter.com/z4km8Tsb9K
— Amy Andrews Fox 2 (@AmyAndrewsFOX2) December 13, 2018
While Lasik surgery typically works well, there are other cases where it’s led to intense pain, ongoing complications, and suicide.
Patients harmed by the eye surgery and families of patients testified at a hearing in Washington in 2008, reported The Associated Press.
“Too many Americans have been harmed by this procedure and it’s about time this message was heard,” said David Shell of Washington, who said he has “not experienced a moment of crisp, good quality vision since” having the surgery.
Also testifying was the family of Colin Dorrian, a college student who went ahead with the surgery even though he was told he wasn’t a good candidate.
His father, Gerald, told his son’s story before a Food and Drug Administration panel. In his suicide note, his son wrote, “I can’t and won’t continue facing this horror.”
Nearly half of patients experience some degree of dry eye, which can vary from an annoyance to contributing to severe pain, according to Dr. Craig Fowler of the University of North Carolina. For some patients, dry eye is temporary; for others, it lingers and may never go away.
Some doctors have spoken out against Lasik.
Dr. Edward Boshnick of the Global Vision Rehabilitation Center says on the website Lasik Complications that he’s against the procedure.
“Over the years I’ve had the misfortune of examining hundreds of patients who have lost quality vision and suffered severe depression as a result of LASIK surgery,” he said. “Two of these patients were so depressed by their post-surgical vision loss that they attempted suicide. In fact, there are several documented cases of post-Lasik suicides.”
Added another specialist, Dr. Arthur Epstein, “Many of us in the contact lens community have spent untold hours trying to help patients who have had their lives literally destroyed by LASIK.”