Meteorologist family says he had complications in ocular surgery before suicide


DETROIT – Jessica Starr, a meteorologist at a Fox TV station in Detroit,

took his own life last December,

just two months after undergoing corrective laser eye surgery.

Now Starr's family, speaking for the first time since his death, say he believes Starr's difficulties with the complications of eye surgery have led to his death.

"Absolutely," Starr's husband Dan Rose told ABC News's Paula Faris in an exclusive interview aired Wednesday on "Good Morning America." "There was nothing else we could ascribe it to."

"She really knew something was not right in a matter of days," added Rose. "She started complaining with incredibly dry eyes, she had almost no night vision, she had bursts she was seeing during the day and at night."

Research reveals several Lasik patients have taken their lives due to serious complications

Rose said Starr, the mother of two small children, told her she was having trouble processing pictures.

Starr's mother, Carol Starr, recalled that her daughter lost 25 pounds after surgery.

"I kept saying," Are you eating? Are you okay? ", Recalled Carol Starr. "And she said," I'm not eating, and I'm not sleeping, Mom. "That's worrying me, I do not think it will improve.

Jessica Starr's 35-year procedure last October is a small lenticular incision extraction, or SMILE. In it, a laser makes a very small opening in the eye to remove a layer of tissue inside the cornea to change its shape and correct myopia.

The FDA approved the procedure in 2016 and has been used more than 1.5 million times worldwide. It is considered to be less invasive than the popular Lasik eye surgery.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology says studies show that the procedure is safe and effective and that complications are very rare. The academy says these complications may include glare and halos, especially at night, and overcorrected or overcorrected vision.

I'm really mad at myself for doing this & # 39;

Starr's family said she considered laser eye surgery for several years when her doctor said she was a good candidate for SMILE.

In one of the many video diaries Starr recorded after the surgery, she regrets having passed the procedure.

"I'm really angry at myself for doing this," Starr said in the video. "I do not know why." "I was good at contacts." Glasses were not a big deal.

Starr's family said they contacted their surgeon and several ophthalmologists to get their opinions after surgery. She also came to a therapist for help.

Looking back, his family said they realized Starr was depressed.

"I was going to have dinner with the kids alone. I was taking the kids to the movies alone, in the sense that she would start withdrawing from life," Rose said of his wife.

Both Rose and her mother-in-law said Starr showed no signs of any emotional, mental or physical suffering before surgery.

The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery told ABC News in a statement that "clinical data on SMILE show compromising vision complications are extremely rare, in less than one percent."

"As with all types of surgery, there is a healing process … and the need for post-surgical care … which usually lasts from a few days to several weeks … but in some patients [it] may take longer, "the statement continued.

Zeiss, the manufacturer of the laser used for SMILE, did not respond to ABC News's request for comment.

The FDA told ABC News that Zeiss is required to conduct a post-approval study so the FDA can continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the procedure.


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