'The world just got darker,' SC woman who gouged out her eyes talks about ordeal

Kaylee Muthart
Kaylee Muthart

On Feb. 6, Kaylee Muthart gouged out her own eyeballs while under the influence of drugs, leaving the South Carolina woman permanently blind.

She was found holding her eyeball outside of an Upstate church, then fought off good Samaritans and first responders before removing her other eye.

Now a little more than a month removed, the 20-year-old has opened up about the horrific self-inflicted incident and her medical recovery.

Muthart was under the influence of drugs when she intentionally blinded herself, reportedly using marijuana and methamphetamine. Her mother, Katy Tompkins, has previously said she thinks that someone put something else in with the meth before the Feb. 6 incident.

Tests of Muthart's blood afterward showed methamphetamine was in her system but have been inconclusive about other additives, her mother said to the (Anderson) Independent Mail.

Whatever substances she was on, it had a tremendous impact on Muthart.

"The events leading up to it were caused by the previous night and thinking my third eye was something I could use," Muthart said in a video from her mother's home in Anderson. "I thought the hallucinations were something that just got real.

"The world just got darker."

In the video, Muthart described in graphic detail how she gouged out her eyes. At one point, she even got on her knees to recreate the moment and put her fingers to her now empty eyelids.

After being airlifted to a hospital for treatment, Muthart's eye injuries were cauterized to seal them up, (Anderson) Independent Mail reported.

In addition to her physical recovery from the self-inflicted wounds, Muthart also had to deal with rehab from drug addiction. After her release from the hospital, she also spent time at a psychiatric facility.

Muthart's ordeal has been profiled in People magazine, and Cosmopolitan.

In addition to adjusting to life as a blind person, Muthart is saying she has come a long way in terms of using drugs.

"I can't even imagine being around it again. I would just end up being really angry. I'm blind, I'm blind," Muthart said. "I was scared. I was super scared to go to the rehab. But it was actually one of the best times of my life."

Part of her recovery includes learning Braille. She also occupies herself by playing guitar and singing, things she displayed in the video.

Tompkins started the Go Fund Me page to help in the recovery. She was initially trying to raise $8,000 to get her daughter a service dog, but after reaching that monetary achievement, the goal was raised to $50,000. As of Monday night, more than $31,000 had been raised to aid Muthart.

In spite of all the assistance she has received, her journey is going to be a long one. She said her faith is helping her cope with the difficult times and challenges.

"Anytime I get scared or lost, I go 'nope. God wouldn't want you to feel that,'" Muthart said.

Muthart said she's hopeful she can help others while recovering and growing on her own.

Tompkins said Muthart’s story can serve as a cautionary tale about drug abuse, and if they can help “just one person,” something good can come of such a terrible incident.

"I want to spread my story, Muthart said to the (Anderson) Independent Mail. "It took me to get my eyes out of my head to see anything good happening to me."