One year ago, Ricki-Lee Coulter experienced what she describes as a “super close call”, a frightening accident that could have cost her her vision.
In a cautionary Facebook post, the singer describes sitting on a lounge, a champagne bottle clamped between her knees, the cork cage removed. Her sister runs over, and as she leans forward to embrace her…
“The force of the cork hitting my eye ball was like no other pain I have ever felt,” the 31-year-old wrote on Facebook. “It felt like a train had slammed into my eyeball at full speed or like I was punched in the face by Mike Tyson. It was excruciating.
“I never knew this… but corks can fly out of bottles at speeds up to 80km/h! It’s no joke.”
At first, Coulter writes, everything was black. Then slowly a pinhole of vision returned and expanded, but the world around her was a painful blur.
After a trip to the emergency room, specialists diagnosed her with hyphema and commotio retinae, that is pooling of blood inside the chamber of the eye and bruising on the back of the eye.
The possibility of permanent vision damage was very real, and so doctors monitored her closely, medicated her in an effort to stem the bleeding and ease the pain.
"I also couldn’t walk, because I had to keep both eyes closed to not use them and cause more inflammation," she writes on Facebook, "so I was being pushed around in a wheelchair with a scarf wrapped around my head so the light wouldn’t get in."
Thankfully, after more than a month of treatment, her vision returned - 20/20, no less. And with it came a new perspective.
"I'm so grateful it didn't turn out worse and I'll never ever take my sight for granted!" she wrote.
To others, she has the following message: "Be careful when opening Champagne bottles! You can do some SERIOUS damage!"