In the months leading up to the death of a well-known Michigan meteorologist, she had told fans she was still recovering from Lasik eye surgery. 35-year-old Jessica Starr was married and the mother of two young children when she took her own life. She asked fans for prayers saying she was finding it "challenging" getting back to work and her normal routine after the surgery.
The surgery was approved by the FDA in 2016 and is carried out by doctors across the country but Starr seemed to be struggling with the recovery process. The surgery was supposed to allow her to finally be able to stop wearing contact lenses. The news anchor worked for WJBK Fox 2 since 2011 and her friends and colleagues tearfully announced her death on air Thursday.
Fox 2 Detroit
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Starr leaves behind two children and a husband of eight years named Daniel. Fox 2 issued a statement on her passing on their website which was read aloud by other anchors. The statement said, "Last night we were informed of the heartbreaking news that our friend and colleague, meteorologist Jessica Starr took her life. All of us here at FOX 2 are in deep shock and cannot believe that such a wonderful, bright and intelligent individual will no longer be with us."
She described that the last month had been "'challenging times" after having a surgery involving a femtosecond laser to create a small piece of tissue within the cornea. The surgeon creates an arc-shaped incision on the cornea's surface to extract the tissue through. The result is the shape of the cornea changes and is supposed to correct nearsightedness.
A patient's vision who undergoes this procedure is often healed within a few days without stitches and they immediately benefit from the results. It is not clear where staff had her procedure done in Detroit or if it had anything to do with her death. She did take four weeks off following the surgery in November.
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When four weeks had passed, Starr tried returning to work for a day and it was so much of a struggle she was forced to return home. In a video on her Facebook page from November 13, the day she tried to go back to work, she seemed very defeated and asked her viewers for prayers and wishes.
Facebook | Jessica Starr
"I am struggling a little bit so I need all the prayers and well wishes," she said. "This is a hard go. If you have any tips I'd appreciate it, I'm trying to stay strong and get through this recovery. Thanks again for all the wishes, I'm excited to be back I just want to get my vision back so I can keep you guys smiling."
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Not The Only Case Of Suicide After Eye Surgery
Starr graduated college with a degree in broadcast meteorology and one in geography communications. She often featured snapshots from her life on Facebook and it seemed as if she had everything she could as for, her own beautiful family and a great job. Starr wouldn't be the first patient to take their own life after blaming an eye procedure. Further details about her death have not yet been revealed.
56-year-old Canadian Paul Fitzpatrick took his own life after blaming the procedure for giving him 20 years of eye pain. Fitzpatrick underwent a laser PRK procedure in 1996 that involved removing the thin, top layer of the eye and reshaping the corneal tissue much like Starr's procedure.
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