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Meteorologist Left Behind a 30-Page Suicide Note

After weeks of complications, Jessica Starr 'started to withdraw from life'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2019 6:34 AM CST

(Newser) – The family of a TV meteorologist who committed suicide after undergoing laser eye surgery says a series of videos found on her phone and a 30-page suicide note make clear her Dec. 12 suicide was linked to her Lasik SMILE surgery in October. "There was nothing else that we can attribute it to," husband Dan Rose tells ABC News. Fox 2 Detroit's Jessica Starr, 35, knew something was amiss within days of the Oct. 11 surgery, he says. She complained of "incredibly dry eyes" and "had almost no night vision. She had starbursts that she was seeing during the day and at night." In hindsight, Rose believes Starr became depressed and "started to withdraw from life." Starr's mom watched as she lost 25 pounds. "She said, 'I'm not eating and I'm not sleeping, Mom. This is worrying me. I don't think it's gonna get better.'"

SMILE (small incision lenticule extraction) surgery—in which a laser creates a tiny opening on the eye before altering tissue within the cornea—has been performed more than 1.5 million times and is regarded as less invasive than Lasik eye surgery, per ABC. Doctors do acknowledge complications including glare and halos, especially at night. But "compromising complications are extremely rare, at less than 1%," according to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, which notes recovery can take "several weeks" or longer. Starr reached out to multiple doctors and a therapist as she suffered over two months. "She said, 'Dan, it's like my eyes and my brain aren't communicating like they used to. I can't process like I used to,'" Rose recalls, per Fox 2. He adds awareness of the case could save a life. (He's now focused on his two young kids.)

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