Transcript for New details about woman who committed suicide after eye surgery
And we are back with a story of a meteorologist who took her own life after experiencing complications from eye surgery. Now her family is speaking out. ABC’s Paula Faris sat down with them and is here with more on this. Good morning. Good morning. Good morning, everyone. The family says she was struggling with complications following eye surgery. A struggle that left her depressed and sadly she ultimately took her own life. I’m still using drops. These things, these tears, artificial tears probably about every five minutes. Reporter: These are video diaries from Jess Starr, a popular meteorologist, wife and mother of two young children. Just a few weeks after undergoing corrective laser eye surgery in October of last year. I want to just get back to my normal life and right now I’m not living my normal life. Reporter: Over the course of two months Starr recorded these video diaries detailingically indications she says she was experiencing from a procedure called smile shown in this video from the company that created the surgery. A laser makes a very small opening to remove a layer of tissue within the cornea to change its shape and correct the fda approved it in 2016 and says it’s less invasive than the popular Lasik surgery. Jess’ family said she Kardashian it for several years and her doctor said she was a good candidate for smile. I’m really mad at myself for doing this. I don’t know why I was fine in contact, glass weren’t that big of a deal. It was fine. Reporter: But just two months after her surgery, she took her own life. You believe her death is directly related to this eye surgery? Absolutely. Yes. There was nothing else that we can attribute it to. Reporter: This is the first time her family has spoken out since her tragic death in December. She really knew something was not right within a matter of days. She started to complain of incredibly dry eyes. She had almost no night vision. She had star burs that she was seeing during the day and at night. Reporter: Her family says she had a hard time doing her job and had to take time off from work. They say they noticed a change in her demeanor and appearance. Lost like 25, 26 pounds and I kept saying are you eating? Are you okay and she said I’m not eating and I’m not sleeping, mom. This is worrying me. I don’t think it’s going to get better. I was going to dinner myself with the kids. I was taking the kids to the movies by myself in the sense of she started to withdraw. Withdraw. Reporter: The American academy of apartment that will — says those complications can include glare and halos particularly at night and under or overcorrected vision. For Jess she contacted her surgeon and saw multiple eye doctors to get their opinions. How many medications was she being prescribed? I have collected all of the drops and medications that she was on in that eight-week cover period. Nothing worked. Nothing seemed to work. See even reached out to a therapist for help. Looking back the family realizing she’d become depressed. Before the surgery everything was okay. There were no signs of any sort of distress, emotional, hen tall, physical? No. Work was good. Life at home was good. Absolutely. Reporter: The American society of cataract and refrackive surgery says as with all types of surgery there is a healing process and the need for post surge cat care that lasts from a few days to several but in some patients it lasts longer and clinical dataen on smile shows sight compromising complications are extremely rare at less than 1%. As for Jess’ family they’re working through the tragedy the only way they know how. It’s so sad. More than 1.5 million smile procedures have been performed. The fda says zeist, the maker of the laser is going to conduct safety. We did reach out to zeist. We did not hear back but the fda tracks complaints but because many are duplicate it’s hard to determine the number of adverse events specifically related to this surgery but her family says she was a completely different person after the surgery. They’re going to choose to remember her as the warm, fun-loving, wife, mother and sister. And not those eight weeks. It was just eight weeks from the time — Less than nine weeks. So tragic. Thank you, Paula.
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