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A Brit pensioner's dream holiday turned into a nightmare when a mysterious infection meant he lost an eye after a bout of "excruciating" pain.
Raymond Kay had been sunning himself in Pattaya, Thailand when he felt a strange sensation in his left eye, but put it down to his contact lense, the Manchester Evening News reported.
The 68-year-old from Atherton, Greater Manchester took it out gave and it a scrub before continuing with his holiday, only to be stricken down with "excruciating" pain.
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He rushed to a Thai clinic for eye drops but the dad-of-four's pain didn't subside, forcing him to return to the UK.
The retired plumber visited his local Specsavers where staff took one look at him and told him to go straight to hospital.
There, he was subject to eye tests, swabs, medications and more – including treatment on Christmas day.
They determined Raymond had developed a fungal infection and needed a cornea transplant.
The dad had surgery on New Year’s Eve but despite the best efforts of medics, just months later the new cornea came loose.
Doctors were forced to take the life-changing decision to remove Raymond’s eye.
Raymond said: “I now have a fake eye. Everything is half as good as what it used to be but you get used to it.
“It’s hard at first because you lose your peripheral vision. After the surgery, I started to lose vision in my good eye too.
“I had to get a cataract removed. Now I have to have laser because the scar tissue behind the lens is starting to fog over. It’s a constant worry for me.”
Raymond has no idea how the fungal infection in his eye started, but he believes his 30-day contact lenses, which he began wearing in 2018, may have worsened the symptoms.
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He said: “It was excruciating pain, it was 24/7. The eye looked like it had a white mark in the centre.”
Fungal keratitis can occur with contact lens wear but mostly occurs in people who sustain eye injuries from agricultural or gardening accidents, ocular surface disease and those with immunosuppression.
This infection is one of the severest forms of corneal infection that can occur in contact lens wear.
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