A 19-year-old student nearly went blind after a pot of boiling chocolate exploded in her face.
Samantha D’Aprile, from Chicago, IllinoisShe was baking cookies with her mother in December 2021 when the pot splintered when she leaned over it, hurling boiling hot chocolate and broken glass in her eyes.
She rushed to the bathroom and splashed water on her face, but her eyes quickly swelled and her eyelids closed. They remained sealed for five days, with doctors saying the damage was as bad as if someone had brought a “razor blade” to them.
But Ms D’Aprile, who had perfect vision before the accident, has now miraculously recovered and can see perfectly again after resting at home. It comes after a Georgia teenager was blinded in one of her eyes Hair dye tube exploded.
Ms D’Aprile, seen above after the accident, has made a full recovery and is able to see normally again. Doctors described it as a “miracle” and said the moment she splashed water on her face may have saved her eyes
Doctors released her from the hospital after two days to allow her to recover at home, but she had to return for check-ups every day. On the fifth day, Christmas Day, she managed to open her eyes again
Ms D’Aprile is pictured above during her time in hospital and afterwards when she was able to open her eyes again
“When I found out my sight was almost gone, I told the doctors I didn’t want to live anymore,” Ms D’Aprile told DailyMail.com.
“I was in such a dark place and I went insane for the few days I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t imagine the rest of my life like this.”
She added: “Going from having perfect vision to the next day I was told I could be blind for the rest of my life was the scariest thing I’ve ever been through and I couldn’t take care of it. “
After the pot exploded in her face, Ms D’Aprile said her eyes felt like they were “on fire” as they began to close.
She was taken to the hospital by her mother but had to be transferred to a different ward after whoever they went to said she doesn’t deal with burns.
She said: “I was in so much pain my body started to shut down, they put me on morphine which eased the pain and I was able to breathe again.
Samantha D’Aprile, 19, of Chicago, Illinois, was baking cookies with her mother in December 2021 when a bowl of boiling chocolate exploded in her face. Her mother took her to the hospital but she couldn’t open her eyes for five days (pictured above in the hospital)
Mrs D’Aprile, pictured above with a friend, pictured before the accident. She rushed to the bathroom to splash water on her face when the chocolate pot exploded
Ms D’Aprile photographed in hospital after the injury. She suffered burns to her face and eyes, which left her unable to see for five days
“When I got to the hospital, they immediately took me to a room and gave me all sorts of treatments and tests.
“By that point, my eyes were swollen shut, I couldn’t open my mouth because it was burned in too, and I was very high from all these drugs.”
An exam found she had burned her cornea — or the transparent dome-shaped area at the top of her eye.
Her eyelids were also burned.
Medics kept her in the hospital for two nights to monitor and administer treatment.
But Ms D’Aprile said the nights had been “brutal” and she “couldn’t sleep”
She said: “I couldn’t sleep and every sleep I got was awakened by nurses who gave me medicine and they opened my eyes to put drops in, which was very painful.”
Also, in the hospital, she received instructions from a blind specialist on how to walk, use the toilet, and do other daily tasks without being able to see.
Doctors treat eye burns with cycloplegic eye drops, which temporarily paralyze the circular muscle that changes the shape of the eye’s lens, allowing it to focus. These muscles can cramp after burns.
Patients may also be given an antibiotic eye ointment to prevent infection.
Painkillers can also be given.
Doctors released Ms D’Aprile after two days to allow her to recover at home, although she still had to return daily for tests.
The student said, “Every day I sat in bed with my eyes closed went by.
“I was going insane over the fact that I was seeing blackness and there was nothing I could do to fix it.
On the third day that I couldn’t see, the doctor opened my eyes to see if I could still see.
“The doctor opened them and I could barely see, but he put ‘band-aids’ in my eyes.
“He described my eyes as if someone had taken a razor and slashed them both.”
Medical professionals feared that if cloudy patches remain in her cornea – which can be caused by injuries – Ms D’Aprile could lose her sight or have impaired vision.
She said: “I had an 80 percent chance of being color blind because my cornea was so damaged.
“I prayed to God several times a day to keep my sight and that was the only hope I had.”
Cold water was poured over them to heal their eyes. This can also help relieve the pain
Mrs D’Aprile is seen above with her mother. After the accident, she rushed to the bathroom to splash water on her face
Five days after the accident, it was Christmas and the student decided to try to open her eyes again herself.
She found she could open them easily, although it was extremely painful.
About two weeks after the accident, Ms D’Aprile found that her vision had returned to normal and she was able to do everything she used to do.
These included reading, driving, looking at electronics, and finding that opening her eyes was less painful.
However, more than a year after the accident, Ms D’Aprile says her vision is completely back to normal.
But she says it still left scars on her mental health.
“I get panic attacks because of the accident, but I’ve learned how to deal with it and what specific triggers are,” she said.
“I used to be super rebellious and never an overthinker, but now I don’t usually do anything outside of my comfort zone and I’m a lot more grounded.
It’s all a work in progress and all it takes is time to heal so I know it’s getting better with the mental factors but the accident is still relevant and I just need to be easier on myself and realize that this is all normal and part of the healing process.
“My plans for the future are to finish school and get a good job in marketing, but above all to enjoy every day to the fullest and make the best memories with my friends and family.”
How are burned eyes treated?
Your eyes can be injured if they are hit or scratched by objects such as metal splinters or wood chips, are splashed with a boiling substance, or are exposed to chemicals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about 2,000 Americans injure their eyes at work every day.
Thermal burns to the surface of the eye tend to damage the conjunctiva, or cornea, which is the transparent part of the eye that covers the iris and pupil.
Doctors may advise patients to take pain relievers to relieve the pain.
Patients may also be given cycloplegic eye drops, which can prevent painful muscle spasms that constrict the pupil.
Antibiotics can also be given to prevent infection.
If the eyelids are burned, doctors recommend cleaning them and then having an antibiotic applied to prevent infection.
Source: Merck manual