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Felicia Cota, 35

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Social media handles:

Facebook- Felicia Cota

Instagram- Fecota86

TikTok- @yes.im.felicia

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?

Mentally, I had a fear that I wouldn't like what I would see when I first looked in a mirror after my surgery. Due to anxiety, I definitely was overthinking and my mind went to the worst possible situations. Also, it took me 2 months to accept that I would lose my eye, as well as to accept that it was the right thing to do. I was lucky enough to have time to adjust mentally to such a big life change.

What has been the most challenging thing physically?

I have always looked different because of my Glaucoma, so having my eye removed didn't bring forth any harder challenges to overcome. I still look different, but in a different way than before surgery. I have always struggled with my self-confidence, and yes, that struggle is still there at times.

Where are you now in your recovery?

I'm 3 weeks post-operation, and I will get my prosthesis at the end of July

What piece of advice would you give to someone going through their eye impairment journey?

Don't be afraid to talk about all the emotions you feel or think you will feel. Sometimes all we need is to say it out loud, and that’s when healing starts. I chose to be 100% open about my journey. I’ve had so much love and support that has helped me keep a positive mental state of mind.

Who is your eye surgeon and ocularist?

My surgeon was Jed T. Poll at Utah Eye Centers, and my Ocularist will be Richard T. Caruso

How did you find EYEHESIVE? On TikTok


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