health

This woman has to sleep with her eyes open after a botched eyelid lift.

Image: ITV/This Morning.

Dawn Knight is facing a lifetime of sleeping with her eyes open (yes, open) after an operation to lift her eyelids was botched.

After losing 25 kilograms through gastric bypass surgery, the UK mother of two found herself with a significant amount of excess skin on her face, especially around the eye area. To combat this, a plastic surgeon recommended a second procedure to correct her upper and lower eyelids.

The former beauty salon owner knew something had gone wrong the day after her surgery, and not just because of how her eyes looked.

“My eyes were constantly streaming, but I was repeatedly told, ‘You’re fine.’ But I wasn’t fine. Tears were pouring down my face when I was trying to go to sleep,” the 47-year-old, recalled in a recent episode of ITV’s This Morning.

Knight's eyes four days after surgery (via ITV)

Knight raised this in a follow-up appointment with her surgeon, Arnaldo Paganelli, who told her it was simply a case of 'dry eye' that would clear up after a fortnight of eye drops.

However, matters only worsened. When Knight was able to fall asleep, her family members were disturbed to notice her eyes wouldn't actually close. "My son said to me, 'You know, you look really weird when sleep – your eyes are open'," she told ITV.

In the three years since her operation, which was performed at the same high-profile Birmingham practice where her gastric band had been inserted, Knight says she's experienced trauma and anxiety. The incident has also impacted on her career, and she's worried she could lose her vision altogether.

"I was running a beauty salon but closed it in January – the strain of everything became too much. I have now been told I have abscesses in my right eye, due to the fact I can’t blink properly. I could go blind," she told the Daily Mail earlier this year.

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Dawn's son was first to notice her eyes stayed open while she slept. (ITV)

"There have been times when I have wanted nothing else but to end it. But I’m a mother; I can’t just lie down and die."

When Dawn attempted to sue her surgeon, he denied negligence and claimed to be bankrupt. According to the Daily Mail, he was also forced to drop the lawsuit because his status as a fly in-fly out doctor makes it impossible to pursue compensation.

However, the practice responded to requests from This Morning and issued the following statement:

"We take our obligations to our patients with the utmost seriousness and do our very best to ensure patients are cared for both during and after any medical procedure by maintaining the highest standards of care," the statement read. (Post continues after gallery.)

"During the period of January to December 2014 there were 7059 patients who underwent a surgical episode and within the same period, less than 1.9 per cent of patients felt they had cause for complaint with any aspect of the service. Only one patient issued a legal letter of claim for surgery in 2004."

Knight isn't the only plastic surgery patient to go public about her failed procedure — in fact, the internet is full of these awful stories.

Just last year, US woman Apryl Brown revealed cheap silicone injections she'd sourced from the black market caused her to develop a life-threatening staph infection. Eventually, she became a quadruple amputee and had to have flesh removed from around her buttocks and limbs.

If there's anything to be learned from these women's experiences, it's that cosmetic procedures should not be taken lightly or booked on a whim. Always research your provider and explore your options.

Have you ever undergone a procedure like this?