The family of the Detroit meteorologist who took her own life two months after receiving laser eye surgery is speaking out.
Last December, Jessica Starr, who worked for Fox TV station took her life two months after receiving a small incision lenticule extraction, also known as the SMILE procedure.
After taking some time to grieve Starr’s death, her family sat down with Good Morning America and opened up about how they believe the complications from her surgery led her to take her own life.
"Absolutely," Starr’s husband, Dan Rose, told ABC News' Paula Faris. "There was nothing else that we can attribute it to."
"She really knew something was not right within a matter of days," Rose added. "She started to complain of incredibly dry eyes. She had almost no night vision. She had star bursts that she was seeing during the day and at night."
Starr's mother, Carol Starr, also revealed that her daughter lost 25 pounds after the surgery.
"I kept saying, 'Are you eating? Are you okay?'" Carol Starr recalled. "And she said, 'I'm not eating and I'm not sleeping, Mom. This is worrying me. I don't think it's gonna get better.'"
During the procedure that Starr received, a laser makes a very small opening on the eye to remove a layer of tissue within the cornea to change its shape and correct nearsightedness.
The FDA approved the procedure in 2016 and it has already been used more than 1.5 million times worldwide. It is considered to be less invasive than the popular Lasik eye surgery.
According to Starr's family, the late news anchor considered laser eye surgery for several years when her doctor told her she was a good candidate for SMILE.
After the surgery, Starr recorded a series of video diaries where she talked about having regrets.
"I'm really mad at myself for doing this," Starr said in the video. "I don't know why. I was fine in contacts. Glasses weren't that big of a deal. It was fine."
Although Starr contacted her surgeon and even reached out to a therapist after the surgery, she slid into a depressed state.
"I was going to dinner by myself with the kids. I was taking the kids to the movies by myself, in the sense of she started to withdraw from life," Rose told GMA.
Both Rose and his mother-in-law said Starr showed no signs of any sort of emotional, mental or physical distress before the surgery.
The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery told ABC News in a statement that "clinical data on SMILE shows sight compromising complications are extremely rare, at less than one percent."
"As with all types of surgery, there is a healing process ... and the need for post-surgical care…which typically lasts from a few days to several weeks ... but in some patients [it] may take longer," the statement continued.
(Photo: Fox 2 Detroit)
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