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Felicia Cota, 35

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Social media handles:

Facebook- Felicia Cota

Instagram- Fecota86


Where are you from?

Ogden, Utah

Where do you live now?

Farr West, Utah

Tell us a little about yourself:

I'm a dog mom who one day hopes to fall in love, get married, and have a family. I’m a country girl that loves animals, helping my dad with the cows, and going horseback riding any chance I get. I love to go on road trips and random adventures. I’m a happy person who enjoys the simple things in life. I love to craft and dance around the house while singing to all kinds of music.

What’s your eye story?

I was diagnosed with Congenital Glaucoma at 2 years old. I had surgeries to correct this at both 2 and 5 years old. I ended up losing vision in my right eye. Being different is not anything new to me; I grew up normal and adapted to only having the vision in my left eye. My childhood consisted of 6-month check-ups and students learning with me as their patient. My doctor was a professor at UofU and practiced at the Moran Eye Center in SLC.

On December 4, 2021, I woke up with a high level of pain and immediately called my doctor. In the exam, he said I had a Hyphema, the presence of blood within the aqueous fluid of the anterior chamber. He put me on steroid drops because I don't have vision in my right eye. The plan was to let it heal on its own and try to prevent more bleeding.

On January 2, 2022, I woke up with the same pain I had the month prior. Again, I went straight to my doctor. A second Hyphema had developed. That’s when I was referred to the Utah Eye Center in South Ogden. My new doctor asked me straight away what my goal for my eye was. Naturally, I said save my eye. He performed a washout the next morning; he washed the blood out and released the pressure build-up. He also discovered that I had developed a cataract, as well as neovascularization, and an excess amount of blood vessels, which is what caused the bleeding.

Being an optimist, my doctor and I made a plan to save my eye. Although he told me I needed to start being open to the fact that my eye was unhealthy and I might still lose it. I was given 5 prescriptions, and also had an injection of Avastin. This all helped, to a point, but I was still experiencing light sensitivity, daily pain, and struggles at work and with my day-to-day routines. The blood vessels were shrinking, but the planned cataract surgery was still a very high risk.

On February 24, 2022, with tears in my eyes and on the verge of an anxiety attack, my doctor and I both agreed my eye was too unhealthy to give me the quality of life I needed. It was then decided that my eye would be surgically removed. I have my first appointment with my surgeon on March 4, 2022.

I am a very spiritual person. I had a Reiki session with my healer, and with the help of my spirit guides and inner self, I was able to accept and be at peace with my decision. My eye has served me as well as it could and I will be okay once it’s removed. I also have had time; 32 years of knowing this day might come. But also 3 months of mentally preparing myself for such a life-altering conclusion.

I now face a life-altering change and have basic fears of the unknown. Am I strong enough to endure this? Mentally, will I overcome this? What steps do I take from here?

What has been the most challenging thing mentally?<