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Lauren Bates, 31

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Where are you from & currently live?

Kent, United Kingdom

Tell me about yourself:

I am a student nurse (inspired to study nursing from the experiences I had with my own nurses). I love spending time with friends and family.I enjoy socializing and swimming when my eye allows.

What's your eye story?

I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor in 2015. The tumor had wrapped itself around my right optic and trigeminal nerve, ruining both. My eye became blind (no perception of light) and I developed severe neurotrophic keratitis. My right eye had absolutely zero sensation, leading to multiple cornea perforations due to no feeling when debris got into my eye, resulting in a scratched and ulcerated eye. This continued for 5 years, with hundreds of visits to eye casualty and enough eye drops to sink a cruise liner. I always knew one day I would have to bite the bullet and remove my eye but for so long I couldn’t bear the thought. Until a few months ago that changed and enough was enough I thought. My bad eye was completely ruining my life and for what? It was blind anyway, with zero chance of regaining vision due to the optic nerve becoming severed. Having my eye removed was the best decision, with absolutely no regrets.

What has been the most challenging thing mentally?

Coming to terms with the thought of having an eye removed. Losing a part of myself.

What has been the most challenging thing physically?

My eye looked damaged for so long and it was stopping me from living, exercising, socializing, etc. I feel I am in a better position now both mentally and physically after having my eye removed.

Where are you now in your recovery?

3 months post evisceration and received my first temporary prosthesis last week :) loving it!

[Edited for clarity by @jacobfromutah]

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