Patient: Lindsay Hendrix
Diagnosis: toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)
Sight restored: 2016
For almost 20 years, Lindsay Hendrix’s poor ocular health limited what she could do and where she could go. After surviving toxic epidermal necrolysis (a severe allergic reaction that is fatal to 30% of those who contract it) at age 10, her ability to enjoy her life on any given day was dictated by the condition of her damaged eyes.
In grade school, her main symptoms were excessive tearing and severe light sensitivity. “I had a really hard time,” remembers Lindsay. “I had red puffy eyes and looked like I was crying all of the time. I was embarrassed.” Lindsay eventually got tired of explaining her situation and would simply say that she had allergies.
As Lindsay entered college, her symptoms had stabilized, which allowed her to develop a consistent treatment routine. She had her eyelashes plucked monthly and applied her eye medications regularly. But even with some improvements, Lindsay’s painful eyes forced her to make adjustments to her lifestyle and workload. “I knew that staying up late was difficult, so I avoided making plans. I knew I couldn’t go outside without sunglasses, so I brought them everywhere.”
Lindsay tried BostonSight PROSE treatment, but, “I had a difficult time inserting the prosthetic device, and the idea of shoving a piece of plastic into my irritated eye confused and scared me. Dr. Jacobs and I weighed the pros and cons and decided that I didn’t need PROSE yet.”
Despite her challenges, Lindsay earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy and joined the adult working world. But her eyes kept getting worse, and around 2014 her symptoms changed. “My main issue was dryness; it felt like someone was holding a fan in front of my eyeball.” Her left eye dried out each day, and by early evening it would completely close. Over time, her eye began to close earlier and earlier in the day, and soon Lindsay could no longer drive at night. She started to really worry about her future, and the future of her eyes.
When Lindsay became engaged to be married in February 2015, she, like most brides, wanted to look and feel her best for her big day. “I remember expressing my concerns to Dr. (James) Chodosh. ‘Would I be able to keep my eyes open on my wedding day?’” Dr. Chodosh performed a punctal occlusion, but when the dryness returned, he suggested that Lindsay give PROSE treatment another try.
Lindsay did just that, and now she wears a PROSE device in her more symptomatic left eye; she applies the device 2-3 times each day, for several hours at a time. She got the beautiful wedding day that she so wanted, and got rid of something even more important – limits. “I got my freedom back to do whatever I want to do. I can live the way I used to, without having to worry. As long as I have my BostonSight “blue bag” of PROSE supplies, I can go anywhere and do anything!”
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