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‘I lost my eye to extremely rare disease – doctors even KEPT my eyeball for research,’ says mum-of-two becoming TikTok sensation

A mum-of-two has revealed how she lost her eye to a disease so rare that doctors kept her eyeball for research.
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A mum-of-two has revealed how she lost her eye to a disease so rare that doctors kept her eyeball for research.

One evening, Brianna Erickson noticed a burst blood vessel in her left eye and albeit slightly worried, didn’t think much of it at first.

Noticing that it didn’t seem to be improving, she decided to visit her optician – who immediately rushed the 28-year-old to a specialist.

Following more tests, doctors shared the harrowing news — Brianna was suffering from ocular melanoma, an extremely unusual form of cancer that only happens to five in one million people.

Brianna, from Minnesota, US, is now sharing her story on TikTok (@apocalypticautopsy) where she has gone viral in a video that has 1.3 million views and over 136,000 likes.

“At the time, I didn’t have any issues with vision or pain, I just thought it was a burst blood vessel,” Brianna told NeedToKnow.co.uk

“Back then, I was also pregnant with my second child, so we found out that nothing could be done while I still had my baby in me.

“However afterwards, I had some more tests done and got to discuss my options about the melanoma.

“Completely removing the eye would remove any chance of the cancer spreading.”

Although it was recommended that she get her eye removed, Brianna decided to go with the alternative option of using a gamma knife, a type of radiotherapy, to tackle the problem.

Unfortunately, the treatment only worked temporarily.

Pictured: Brianna’s eye. (Credit: Jam Press)

In December 2021, she noticed a growth in her eye and was told she would need surgery.

She said: “It was right where the enlarged blood vessel once was.

“I went back to the doctors and here is where I was told the only way to stop the cancer from coming back was by removing my eye.

“I panicked and asked many questions, mainly about how long I would have to decide.

“The doctors told me if I didn’t do anything, then the life expectancy would be about one year, and they urged me to have the eye removed.

“I spent as much time as I could doing stuff with my kids, appreciating their beauty with both eyes, going to the movies, parks, anything.”

Speaking about the surgery, the mum added: “One minute they put me to sleep, and the next, I woke up with one eye.

“They kept my eyeball for further testing. I have requested to have it or a piece at least back.
“Within just days of the surgery, I could see clearly again.

“Now, I have to get MRI and CT scans regularly to keep my organs monitored, as I am twice as likely to develop cancer again.”

Pictured: Brianna Erickson. (Credit: Jam Press)

TikTok users have been left stunned by the mum’s bravery, calling her a “badass”.

In one clip, Brianna looks at the camera, as she shows off her right eye, but reveals that the left eye looks like it is pierced together.

It turns out that she has used eyelash glue to stick piercing balls to her top and bottom lid, and with ease holds them shut while shooting the video.

One person said: “No because it looks COOL, Besides, what’s it gonna do, poke your eye? It’s already not there.” [sic]

Trinket added: “After the shock factor wore off it’s actually really cool. I just needed a minute lmao.” [sic]

“I mean, why not? Looks pretty badass,” wrote another fan.

“I like it, Picasso! For real, this is so cool and unique,” said Dami.

“This actually seems pretty smart AND stylish,” added another user. [sic]

Brianna uses social media in the hopes of helping anyone else going through a similar experience.

She added: “I want people to be able to reach out for comfort, to relate, to ask for advice and for many other reasons.

“I have been included in part of a community that’s determined to bring confidence and acceptance to every person with one eye!

“My desired goal is to help spread awareness for ocular melanoma and convince people to have their eyes checked every two years.”

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