Catt Gallinger Dreadful Tattoo Leaves Her Partially Blind



Canadian model Catt Gallinger, a 24-year-old woman from Ottawa, decided to get a sclera tattoo, which is placed on the white part of the eyeball. Three weeks later, her eye began to swell, turn purple, and leak ink-colored tears. Gallinger was having trouble seeing correctly and went to the emergency room.

Sclera staining is a tinting on the white coloring of the eyeball with a hypodermic needle. The procedure was performed by Gallinger’s then-boyfriend. The damage to her eye was “caused by undiluted ink, over injection, (and/or) not enough smaller injection sights.” A smaller, clean needle should have been used. Doctors said the needle that was used was not sterile and caused the infection of the sclera.

Purple is Gallinger’s favorite color, so coloring her eye this color was understandable, but the large amount of ink administered into her eye has blurred her vision with no signs of improvement. The Canadian model already has 25 tattoos and had the risky procedure of splitting her tongue in two, so it looks forked. Body modifications are trendy worldwide; it changes one’s anatomy similar to the breast, foot, and facial modifications.

The Oklahoma Senate passed a bill declaring sclera tattooing illegal, in 2009, for the protection of people’s well-being. Additionally, the state of Georgia made tattooing an inch from the eye socket unlawful.

Not all artists are experienced in this kind of body modification; moreover, Luna Cobra claims he was the first to invent sclera staining. He added that everyone is trying to do what he did first. However, not having the experience, guidance, and someone to witness the procedure can lead to legal issues.

Gallinger has decided to take legal action. The ex-boyfriend had pressured her into getting the tattoo and lied about his experience and training with the procedure. She told New York Daily News that he made several errors during the operation: not blending the ink with saline, used too large a needle, and went too deep, passed the choroid layer of the eye, which is closely connected to the retina layer. If a needle is inserted pass the Vitreous Humor, the ink can flow through the rest of the eye and also harm the optic nerve.

Also, Gallinger told her fans:

I don’t see myself ever being comfortable enough to do another shoot. I can barely look at myself except for when I have to do my treatments, she wrote on Sept. 23

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is strongly against any sclera tattoos because a person’s vision is at risk and/or another permit damages. Regular tattooing is a common tradition globally, but inking the eyeball is not commonly done. The damage can be permanent and finding a person with the training and experience to be trusted may be difficult.

Written by Kwjuana Owens
Edited by Jeanette Smith


New York Daily News: Model Eye tattoo goes terrible wrong
The Chicago Tribune: Eyeball Tattoo Complications
The Washington Post: Gallinger horrific Sclera Tattoo leaves eye forever blinded
NCSL: Health on tattooing and body piercings

Featured and Top Images Courtesy of Paul Domenick’s Flickr Page Creative Common License


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