‘I had surgery to change my eye colour – but ended up blind’: How op went horribly wrong for this student


A student from London was left temporarily blind after surgery to change the colour of her eyes.

Shenise Farrell travelled to Panama, in Central America, for the unregulated procedure to change her eye colour from dark brown to light brown.

She spent £8,000 on the operation but it went wrong and she was almost left permanently blind.

Ms Farrell decided in 2009 that she wanted to change the colour of her eyes and so she began researching surgical options.

Despite her family’s horror, she travelled to Panama to have a procedure which involved implanting coloured discs – like a contact lenses – into her eyes.

Ms Farrell told Channel 5’s Botched Up Bodies: ‘I was so determined to get the surgery nothing rang alarm bells for me – nothing obvious.’

When Ms Farrell arrived at the clinic in Panama, she was told that she could not have the light brown implants as they were out of stock.

As a result, the surgeon informed her that she would be given blue implants instead.

Despite this not being her original intention, she decided to go ahead with the operation.

Ms Farrell says that during the procedure she screamed and the surgeon told her not to scream as it ‘could cause things to go wrong’.

To her huge shock, at the end of the 20 minute procedure, Ms Farrell realised she couldn’t see properly.

She says it was as though she was looking underwater but the surgeon told her not to worry and that for some patients it took up to two weeks for vision to return to normal.

However, by the time Ms Farrell returned to London her sight had deteriorated further.

She went to another hospital – Charing Cross Hospital where she was unable even to read the biggest letter on the optician’s chart.

Doctors at the hospital had never seen anything like it so were temporarily at a loss as to how to help her.

Eventually, it was decided that the implants had to be removed.

Ms Farrell risked permanent blindness to go under the knife again.

This time, surgeons made an incision in her corneas to allow them to remove the implants.

Ms Farrell said: ‘When I woke up I saw black. I panicked. I thought if my vision goes, my life will be over.’

However, the blackness she saw was only caused by the bandaged surgeons had placed over her eyes.

When these were removed, she was able to see again but her vision was blurry.

It took two to three months for her vision to return to normal.

She said: ‘Now that my eyes are back to normal, my eyes are brown but it doesn’t matter what shade of brown it is. The main thing is that I can see.’


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top