Woman Loses Eyesight After Undergoing Procedure to Change Eye Color

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By Daphne R

Plastic surgery can be glamorous but it can also be dangerous. A student in London was forced to learn about the dangers of plastic surgery the hard way. Shenise Farrell wanted to change her eye color so she traveled from London to Panama to get an unregulated procedure that left her blind after surgery.

Farrell had been wanting her eye color changed from dark brown to light brown since 2009, so she began researching options. She found a location in Panama that would implant colored disc, like contact lenses, into her eyes. She spent £8,000 British Pound ($13,165 US Dollar) to have the procedure done but something went terribly wrong.

Ms. Farrell shared her misfortune in an interview on a new reality tv show, “Botched Up Bodies”, saying, ‘I was so determined to get the surgery nothing rang alarm bells for me – nothing obvious.’

Upon her arrival to the clinic, she was informed that the light brown implants she had requested were out of stock, but doctor’s suggested she get the blue implants instead and she went along with their idea.

At some point during the surgery, Farrell recalls screaming out and being told by the surgeon that if she screamed it ‘could cause things to go wrong’. The procedure only took about 20 minutes to complete but after it was done, Farrell realized that she was having trouble seeing.

She said her vision was blurry, like looking under water. Her surgeon comforted her saying that what she was experiencing was normal and that it wasn’t unusual for it to take up to two weeks for her vision to adjust properly and get back to normal.

Instead of getting better, Farrell’s eyesight worsened. And by the time she returned to London she found it imperative she seek further medical attention. So she went to Charing Cross Hospital for an evaluation. Doctors there noted that she was unable to see even the largest letter on the optical chart and decided that the implants should be removed. The surgery to remove the implants was even more dangerous for Farrell as she would be risking losing her sight permanently but she made the decision to have the proposed surgery.

After surgery, Farrell recalls, ‘When I woke up I saw black. I panicked. I thought if my vision goes, my life will be over.’ She later realized the darkness she saw was caused by the bandages doctors had placed over her eyes. However, once the bandages were removed her vision was blurry. It actually took her about two to three months for her vision to return to normal.

Now that her vision has returned, she’s happy with the dark brown color of her eyes. After all she went through, the shade of brown no longer matter. Farrell said, ‘The main thing is that I can see.’


Daphne R is an experienced marketing and communications professional who provides social commentary, self-help, tips, and reports news of events that matter to African Americans.