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April 25, 2019

Laser eye surgery ‘ruined’ Canadian man’s life — and led him to suicide

November 30, 2018
Paul Fitzpatrick is believed to have suffered from a rare, grave condition corneal neuralgia which led to his suicide. (Handout)

A Canadian man committed suicide after laser eye surgery side-effects “ruined his life,” his family says.

Ontario resident Paul Fitzpatrick, 54, is believed to have suffered from a rare condition corneal neuralgia, CTV News reports.

He died on Oct. 6 and left a note for his family .

“I cannot experience any type of pleasure anymore,” Paul wrote in the note. “Just the pain of burning eyes inside my head and throughout myself … Since 1996 Pain, pain and more pain, please forgive me for not being strong enough to cope. The past few months have been unbearable.”

His parents, Gene and Christine Fitzpatrick, recounted how migraines and dry eyes struck Paul soon after surgery.

“It ruined his life, and it also left a lot of people around him suffering,” Paul’s father Gene Fitzpatrick told CTV News.

The self-made millionaire and father of two traveled throughout Europe and the U.S. in hopes of finding treatment for his symptoms — but nothing seemed to work.

“We didn’t know what to do for him,” Paul’s mother said. “We would recommend pain killers and he would take some. He wasn’t one to take pain killers much, but when they wore off he said the pain was worse so … he’d keep his eyes closed most of the time.”

After his death, his family started sharing his story in hopes to spread awareness about eye surgery complications.

They even wrote about his eye struggle in his obituary, nothing his “suffering ended abruptly” after his never-ending search for help.

“For twenty years he suffered the results of a badly performed, unsuccessful laser eye treatment that caused him constant pain,” the obit read.

It’s possibly the first documented suicide related to eye surgery in Canada — but the founder of the online support group Lasik Complications, Paula Cofer, said there’s been 10 documented cases in the United States.

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