It was a scene out of a horror movie.
A 20-year-old woman gouged out her eyes with her hands outside of a church in South Carolina in what she believed was a necessary sacrifice to God.
Kaylee Muthart was left completely blind by the meth-induced psychotic trip that compelled her to rip out her eyes and warped her perception of religion.
Today Muthart is drug free and learning to traverse the world without sight, and says “life’s more beautiful now”.
The horrific incident took place on February 6 in Anderson, South Carolina, just days before she was to attend a rehabilitation facility for previous abuses with meth.
She was found gouging out her eyes outside of a church early in the morning, where passerby tried to stop her from her wild act of self harm, but she fought them off. It took a team of deputies to hold her down.
From there she was transported to the trauma unit at Greenville Memorial Hospital.
It was there doctors reported to her mother, Katy Tompkins, that Muthart was blind.
“That was a struggle. I can’t even explain that feeling when I found out. It was horrifying. Complete terror,” Tompkins told People magazine.
“It’s a horrible thing, but I’m still thankful because God spared her life,” she added.
Reflecting upon the terror, she said the meth trip led her into a state of delirium that warped her perception of religion.
She said she thought the dead were stuck in their graves and required a sacrifice from her – her eyes – in order to release them to God.
“I thought everyone who had died was stuck in their graves, that God was up in Heaven alone, and that I had to sacrifice something important to be able to release everyone in the world to God,” Kaylee said.
“It made the world darker, and took everything I believed in and distorted them to make me go down the path to pulling out my eyes,” she added.
“It was scary, I didn’t understand what God wanted of me, but it made me feel a sense of righteousness that I had to be the one to do it. And I was glad to do it because I’ve always had a big heart and nobody’s ever giving me that love back,” she said.
She said she felt like she was running out of time to “save the world” and was madly searching for an acquaintance. Feeling short on time, she twisted out her eyes for the sacrifice.
“I proceeded to pull out my eyes with my bare hands and twisted them, and pulled them, and popped them. I told the pastor who showed up, ‘Pray for me, I want to see the light, pray for me’.”
Muthart had an extended stay at the hospital and a psychiatric facility after the traumatic incident. She returned home on March 1. Doctors believe the meth may have been laced with another chemical.
“It’s the same life, but I’m just learning everything in a new way,” she said.
“Life’s more beautiful now, life’s more beautiful than it was being on drugs. It is a horrible world to live in,” she added.
“I’ll forget I’m blind sometimes because I know what’s around me. Not down to a tee, but I know what my mum’s house looks like,” she said learning to adapt to her new sensory abilities.
“You still see, but you don’t see with your eyes, it’s hard to explain because I don’t even understand it myself,” she said.
Her meth incident, however, wasn’t the first time she tried the dangerous drug. She started using meth about six months prior to the accident.
Months before the February break-down took place Muthart said she was given marijuana – laced with either cocaine or meth – by coworkers.
She recalled feeling a high that she never experienced before. After doing online research on her symptoms she realised it must have been laced. She then left her job and the co-workers.
A month later she found another job, where a co-worker there pressured her to try meth, to which she eventually agreed.
The drug caused her to stay awake for three days. She took a video recording of her behaviour on it.
“I took a video while I was on it, and I had been up three days straight. I eventually got taken home and got sober and watched the videos, and put that person out of my life and stopped using the drug,” she said.
She admitted that after using meth she returned to it because she felt isolated and lonely.
She was due to enter a rehab centre in a few days, before she the eye-gouging meth incident occurred.
Reflecting upon the incident she said: “When I do something, I go big or go home… obviously. Humour is something that gets me by, laughing, music, that day itself.”
She says music is a major part of her recovery. Muthart plays guitar and is still able to learn new songs despite losing her sight.
Her recovery and rehabilitation is not over yet. She is expected to return to rehab for four weeks.
In the mean time she is emptied her life of drugs and is devoting her time to service, working as a public speaker for the Commission for the Blind.
“I’m able to be Kaylee again. I’d rather be blind and be myself than be Kaylee on drugs, and I truly mean that with my heart. I’m Kaylee Jean Muthart, just like I was 10 years ago. Just better,” she said.