Doctors Find Maggot in Teen's Eye

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One Arkansas teenager shocked doctors and got national attention when a maggot was found feeding on his eyeball.

Five years ago, Kenneth Watson was walking to the bus stop when he lost vision in one eye.

"I just couldn't see," Watson recalled. "Looking down on the ground, waving my hand in front of my face, still couldn't see it, when I got to the bus stop, I just turned around, started crying that I was 15,16 going blind."
    
The teenager was sent to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center's Hamilton Eye Institute.

"I had a couple hemorrhages and a minor blood clot I believe, and that was blocking my vision," the now 20-something recalled.

During Watson's surgery, a specialist successfully stopped the hemorrhages inside his eye.  Looking for the cause, the doctor found a parasite feeding off of Watson's retinal tissue.

"It was still alive eating and burrowing its way in my eye," Watson said.
    
Doctors removed the maggot by cutting it in half with a laser. So how did it get there? 

"About two weeks before this all happened, I had a gnat land in my eye walking to school, just outside," Watson said.

Physicians speculated that the gnat laid an egg on his eye, resulting in the parasite.

Watson now wears glasses, but said he doesn't mind because matters could have been much worse.

Watson's story is scheduled to air as a part of the the Animal Planet series "Monster's Inside Me" on Wednesday, August 4 at 9:00 p.m. EDT.

"It was fun because I had always wanted to be on TV," Watson told Jonesboro, Arizona's KAIT. "Somebody asked me what do I call it, and we just said maggotitis."

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