'My hope is gone': Model with purple tattoo on her eyeball now risks losing her sight

A model risks losing her eye after having her eyeball tattooed purple. (Photo: Facebook/Cat Gallinger)

A model risks losing her eye after an attempt to tattoo her eyeball left her partially blind and crying purple tears.

Two months ago, 24-year-old Catt Gallinger of Ottawa, Canada, decided to have a purple scleral tattoo, which is when the sclera, or white part of the eyeball, is injected with dye.

But just hours after allowing her then boyfriend to inject the purple ink into her left eye, it was clear something had gone wrong when her eye started leaking and became swollen, causing her sight to blur. Now she’s facing the prospect of losing the vision in her eye completely.

In an emotional Facebook post, the model has revealed that she is in so much pain she fears she might need to have her eyeball removed.

“This is beyond heartbreaking,” she wrote. “I CANNOT open it at all without significant effort. Since I’ve always been honest on here, I will continue to be. My hope is gone. I’m very close to asking for removal.. I’m so tired of it all.”

Gallinger also issued a heartfelt plea to others to think twice about getting eye tattoos.

“This was caused by undiluted ink, over injection, not enough/smaller injections sights,” she explains. “I am NOT sharing this with you to cause trouble, I am sharing this to warn you to research who you get your procedures by as well as how the procedure should be properly done.”

Gallinger goes on to say that she has been to the hospital three times, has been treated with antibiotic and steroid drops, and is now facing surgery.

“Just please be cautious who you get your mods from and do your research. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” she says.

The 24-year-old has also opened up about the effects the botched procedure and the resultant treatment have had on her mental health.

“Worst panic attack in my life,” she wrote after doctors had to postpone an unsedated surgery. “Going back in early next week to figure out bumping up a sedated procedure.”

She continued: “I’m barely breathing, shaking and, now that I know how it’s being done, it is NOT like other more common procedures. It is completely different. Completely triggered my ptsd and now I can’t calm down. And have even more pain. So now I’m at high risk of eye loss, do NOT know when they will book my sedated surgery, nothing to cope with the pain that has now doubled.”


Gallinger is currently waiting to schedule a sedated procedure to have the flap of her eye that is filled with ink removed. But the ink in her eye is solidifying, and once that happens, her only recourse will be to have her eye removed.

“There have been a lot of times where I’ve thought, if I have to live like this for the rest of my life, I’d rather get [my eye] taken out,” she told Global News.


Scleral tattoos have been gaining popularity of late, but following news of Gallinger’s complication the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (EPSO) are now petitioning to make the procedure illegal.

It’s not the first time a warning has been issued over eye health in recent months. Back in October, the Association of Optometrists warned of the risks associated with colored contact lenses, which many people choose to wear for fancy dress parties at Halloween.

Badrul Hussain, a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, revealed that he has treated patients every year for eye conditions caused by fake contacts.

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