British woman blinded by contact lens bug after holiday swim in Turkey

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British gran blinded by contact lens bug after holiday swim in Turkey
British gran blinded by contact lens bug after holiday swim in Turkey

A British woman is set to undergo an operation to remove her eye after catching an infection thought to have been picked up in a swimming pool on holiday in Turkey.

Sally Hassell, a 49-year-old mother and grandmother, had bacteria trapped under her contact lens, and is also now struggling to see from her other eye.

She has now had to quit her magazine publisher's job and put wedding plans on hold.

Ms Hassell told The Sun: "I can't believe an eye infection did this. I can't watch TV or read. I don't even look in a mirror as it upsets me."

It is thought she picked up the infection on holiday in Kusadasi, Turkey, in October 2012.

Doctors in the UK reportedly first diagnosed conjunctivitis. But after three weeks, an expert diagnosed the acanthamoeba bug. Sally added: "They said it probably came from the pool. You just don't think something like this will happen to you. But it did."

Medics said a shower in Britain could also be to blame, and warned against swimming or showering with lenses.

The British Contact Lens Association said the bug hits one in 30,000 wearers.

The news comes just weeks after it was reported that another holidaymaker, June Scott, 62, from Co Durham, lost her eye to a lens infection.

The 62-year-old spent three weeks in hospital attached to an intravenous drip after the disposable lens began burning her eyeball following a trip to her holiday home in Alicante, Spain.

But, according to, three operations and a series of eight-hour sessions to eradicate the infection failed to work, and surgeons were forced to cut away her cornea.

Doctors in Spain, where she spends the winter months, said a fungal infection known as Fusarium attacked her left eye.

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