Body modifications are potentially life-changing. It doesn’t matter whether you get a simple piercing or a more complex procedure, a botched modification can have potentially deadly consequences.
That was something 24-year-old Canadian model Catt Gallinger learned the hard way. Already heavily tattooed, Gallinger decided to to have a more extreme procedure carried out – sclera modification AKA an eyeball tattoo.
Sclera modification is when a tattoo artist injects ink into into the white of a person’s eyes, permanently dying them a different color. The procedure has increased in popularity since it was developed by tattoo artist Luna Cobra in 2007.
Cobra spent years perfecting the procedure and is more than aware of the dangers it poses. “It is very dangerous and without medical back-up – and some base medical education – any person offering this would be putting clients at serious risk of vision complications, and blindness,” he said to the Huffington Post.
Gallinger is pictured below a week after the procedure.
Despite its risks, the model was convinced sclera modification was for her because she wanted to “feel more at home in my body.”
Given the fact that Gallinger had already been tattooed, it would be easy to make the assumption that she would have had the foresight to ensure that she chose the best possible artist to carry out the procedure, but that was not the case.
Gallinger shared her horrific experience on Facebook to warn others about the dangers of sclera modification. She described it as a “massive mistake”. She knew that something was wrong when purple tears began to fall from her eye.
Concerned for her sight, the model went to hospital and was prescribed antibiotics. Her eye swelled up a week later.
Gallinger explained why her procedure had gone wrong, writing that it was caused “by undiluted ink, over injection, not enough/smaller injections sights.” She is now having to see an eye specialist and is likely to lose her sight in one eye.
“There are multiple people who can attest that my aftercare was good and any other part of what I am saying.
“I am NOT sharing this with you to cause trouble, I am sharing this to warn you to research who you get your procedures by as well as how the procedure should be properly done. Your office mug is highly likely to be infected with your workmates’ poo.”
“I have been to the hospital three times, I had no furry pets to cause any dander, and I wash my hands every time I do anything with my eye, both before and afterward.
“Just please be cautious who you get your mods from and do your research. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
The model shared a further update about her condition, writing that whilst she is experiencing less pain and irritation, she remains unable to see with the tattooed eye. “The colour appears to be lighter but that may just be due to the ink shifting around,” she wrote.
Doctors are concerned that there may be an infection within the eye itself, caused by an unsterile needle, and the model is now at risk of having to have it removed. Her prognosis is that her sight will not return.
We wish Gallinger all the best recovering from this procedure and hope that it serves as a warning to anyone else thinking about getting a body modification.