A 34-year-old woman can blow out candles through her eye socket after she had her eyeball removed.
Emma Cousins has been living with only one eye after she was diagnosed with mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, a rare and deadly type of cancer.
An MRI scan found a huge tumor growing behind her eye and a biopsy in April 2018 was taken to see if it could still be saved.
However, nothing could be done and Emma was told that she would lose her eye.
“The doctor said ‘the eye will have to come out’ and told me I’m the only person in England with it, and that chemotherapy wouldn’t work,” Emma shared.
“I had to tell my children because, with my eye going, I couldn’t hide it from them,” she continued. “I told them I needed to have my eye removed then I would be better.”
Emma had her eyeball removed in June 2018.
“I was nervous but knowing I had cancer and how bad it could be made me feel better about it. Losing an eye for a chance of saving my life was a risk I was willing to take,” she expressed. “My main concern was what would happen with the kids – my daughter was so young at the time, so she wouldn’t remember anything about me.”
Emma made it through the procedure and started a 6-week course of radiation therapy. But she ended up in the ICU hooked to a ventilator as she fought up grueling symptoms linked to fulminant multiple sclerosis.
“I couldn’t even talk – it was like being completely locked in my own body, unable to communicate anything,” she recalled.
“Doctors told my family I would die, but to their surprise I regained the ability to talk, my arms started to work, and I have slowly recovered to the point I can now walk myself – although not as well as I used to.”
Emma then saw herself with one eye and realized she looked “different to anybody else.”
“I actually liked it because everything has been done now with hair and makeup, whereas everyone notices how different I look – and I try to live up to that with my eye patches,” she said. “After all, they are going to stare at me anyway, so why not give them something to stare at?”
Over time, a hole developed in her empty socket, which doctors think was caused by the radiation.
“I’ve waited over a year for the operation but now the hole is getting bigger simple things like having a shower or being in heavy rain can drown me,” Emma said.
“As the hole is directly connected to my lungs – meaning anything going in my eye can enter my lungs. I have to stay away from a swimming pool and baths as I could drown.”
Emma took to TikTok and shared videos of her empty socket. She also showed off her unique tricks, which include blowing out candles through the hole in her socket.
One person commented: “This is so powerful.”
Another wrote: “I would just like to say this is not scary but inspiring, unique and beautiful. Because this is who you are.”
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