On Sept. 5, Catt Gallinger, 24, got a scleral tattoo -- which means that she had ink injected into the white section of her eyeball.
Gallinger, who has a number of tattoos and a forked tongue, said the person who tattooed her was unqualified but convinced her to get the eyeball tattoo, which quickly became infected.
“I have a lot of friends who have had it done and it worked for them,” she told Global News. “I’m not jumping on the bandwagon or anything, but body modification is part of my life. I had been thinking about doing it for a while.”
On the day she got the tattoo, the purple ink ran out of her eye down the side of her face, and the next day, her eye was swollen shut, WGN reported.
“During the first two weeks, he kept telling me it was fine, but I had a feeling that it wasn’t normal,” Gallinger told Global News. “Everyone I know who had this done healed within a week. I reached out to other artists around the world and they agreed on what he had done wrong, and made me aware of how high-risk my situation was.”
Gallinger took to Facebook to warn others of the procedure, saying, “Please be cautious who you get your (modifications) from and do your research.”
According to Gallinger, who claimed her aftercare was “good,” the infection was caused by ink that was not diluted with saline, use of too much ink, use of a needle that was too big and the needle going too deep into her eye.
Gallinger has been to the hospital three times in hopes of getting the infection cleared up.
After rushing to the hospital, she was prescribed antibiotic eye drops for about a week, but things worsened and her eye had swollen completely shut. Apparently, the medicine spread the infection, causing a clump around her cornea, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Now she has to get surgery, and the tattoo certainly won’t end up like she hoped. She told CTV that the ink will either go away completely or “stay a blurry mess.” Doctors say if the ink reaches the retina, it will cause nerve damage, which may prompt them to remove her eye.
Ophthalmologists have warned against the procedure, with some saying the only way to completely stop the pain is to remove the eyeball. Gallinger may be able to keep her eye, but the experience has left her shaken.
“I took my eyesight for granted and trusted someone I shouldn’t have,” she said in a video posted Monday. “And even if this heals, my eyesight is not going to be back.”
Gallinger plans to press charges of criminal negligence.