Kaylee Muthart, 20, was left permanently blinded after she intentionally scratched out her own eyes while in a drug-induced delirium on February 6 in front of a church in Anderson, South Carolina, reports WYFF4.com.
According to the New York Post, the young woman — who doctors believe was high on tainted methamphetamine — reportedly started fighting off the locals who witnessed her trying to gouge her eyes out and tried to stop her.
Muthart’s mother Katy Tompkins is speaking out about her daughter’s recovery, and warning others about the dangers of illegal drugs.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Muthart Started using Drugs after Smoking Meth-Laced Marijuana
According to Tompkins, her daughter started using meth about six months before the gruesome incident took place. Tompkins told People that Kaylee started using methamphetamine after unknowingly smoking marijuana that was laced with meth shortly after she moved out of her house last year. Kaylee started buying the drug shortly after.
“I had just found out about her marijuana use about six weeks before the incident,” Tompkins, told WYFF. “On the day of the incident, she thinks that someone put something else in with the meth. Her doctors think so too, but it’s too hard to tell exactly what it was from the blood tests. Her doctor said that typically meth doesn’t lead people to do something so traumatic.”
Tompkins told People that her family tried to convince Kaylee to get help and that Kaylee told her mother she would enter rehab the following week.
“The day before it happened, which was my birthday, I was getting ready to have her committed, just to get her off the streets and away from it,” Tompkins told People . “But I was too late.”
Meth is an illegal stimulant that increases the amount of dopamine in the brain. It can cause hyperthermia, convulsions, cardiovascular issues and insomnia, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
2. Muthart Believed She Needed to “Sacrifice her Eyes” to go to Heaven
Doctors believe Muthart smoked tainted meth, which led to her hallucination. Experiencing delusions, Muthart believed that the world was “upside down” and needed to “sacrifice her eyes” to go to heaven, according to People.
Local residents found Muthart gouging out both of her eyes with her own hands while in a drug-induced frenzy. In her delirium, she fought off help from bystanders who tried to stop her. She had gouged out one of her eyes, and before first responders arrived, she tore out her other eyeball, WYFF reports.
It eventually took a team of deputies to control Kaylee before she was placed on a stretcher and flown to the trauma unit at Greenville Memorial Hospital, where doctors worked to clean what was left inside her orbital sockets to prevent infection, reports WYFF4. Once Tompkins arrived, doctors broke the news that her daughter was completely blind.
3. Muthart’s Mother is Using Kaylee’s Story to Warn About the Dangers of Illegal Drugs
Tompkins has started a GoFundMe page to help raises funds for a seeing-eye dog, and has raised just over $8,000 of the $12,000 goal.
“If Kaylee’s story can help just one person, something good can come of this tragedy in our family,” she writes. “We are truly grateful for all the prayers and help we’ve received thus far and ask that you give whatever you can and continue to pray for us.
According to People, Tompkins has received messages from other parents whose children have been addicted to drugs, such as meth and other opiates.
“This is something you never think is going to happen to you, but it did,” Tompkins told People. “A lot of the mothers I talked to have kids that have been addicted to heroin for 10, 15 years and I’m like, ‘How did you get through it?’ My daughter was doing it for six months and it literally tore me up.”
Tompkins told People that she finds herself walking around the house with her eyes closed at times, so she can relate on some level to what her daughter is experiencing. The whole situation, she says, is still difficult to comprehend.
“I still haven’t grasped it yet. I can hardly look at her pictures right now, and I can’t think of her not being able to see,” she says. “I don’t like the dark, and I think, ‘Oh my gosh, that poor thing will always be in the dark.’”
4. Muthart Wants Her Artificial Eye Color to Match Her Real Eyes
Although Muthart will be in the hospital for the forseeable future while she adjusts to life without sight, Tompkins says she is staying in good spirits, reports People.
According to Tompkins, doctors are administering antibiotic drops and keeping her eyelids moistened while she heals. They’ve also recommended that Kaylee receive prosthetic eyes to preserve her facial structure and avoid bacteria buildup in the cavities. Kaylee made her mother promise to get prosthetics that match the aqua green eyes she was born with, People reports.
“I don’t know how I’m getting through it, but she has given me strength,” Tompkins says. “It’s weird to say, but she uplifts me right now and she’s the one that can’t see. That’s just the kind of person she is. I’m thankful. It’s a horrible thing, but I’m still thankful because God spared her life.”
5. Muthart’s is Focusing on Religion to Help her Heal
Tompkins has given periodic updates on Kaylee through the GoFundMe page while she remains in the hospital. She says that Kaylee is still struggling to adjust, but she remains in good spirits.
“She is trying so hard to get her thoughts back together but unfortunately when she was under the influence of methamphetamine, pure evil, she saw things she cannot unsee,” Tompkins posted. “They are still in her memories. She doesn’t want them to be but she is trying her best to work through it. Thankfully, as time progresses, with much support and her therapy, we can help her to understand that things that she was seeing and thinking at that time, were not true or real.”
Tompkins says that Kaylee is focusing on the bible to help her move forward with her life.
“She told me she was trying to read the Bible to get through it but in doing that the evil drug showed her lies,” said Tompkins. “She is wanting to do Bible study with her family and I will be reaching out to others to help her clear up the confusion.”