February 6, 2023

A Chicago teen nearly went blind after a pot of boiling chocolate exploded in her face

A 19-year-old student nearly went blind after a boiling pot of chocolate exploded in her face.

Samantha D’Abril, of Chicago, Illinois, was baking cookies with her mother in December 2021 when the pot shattered while she was leaning on it, sending boiling hot chocolate and shards of glass in her eyes.

She rushed to the bathroom and splashed water on her face, but soon her eyes became swollen and her eyelids closed. They remained closed for five days, with doctors saying the damage was so bad it was as if someone had taken a “razor blade” on them.

But Mrs. D’Aprile, who had perfect vision before the accident, has now made a “miraculous” recovery and is able to see perfectly again after resting at home. It comes after a teen in Georgia was blinded in one eye when a tube of her hair dye exploded.

Mrs. D’Aprile, pictured above after the accident, has made a full recovery and has returned to her normal vision. Doctors called it a “miracle,” and said the moment water splashed across her face may have saved her eyes.

Doctors released her after two days in the hospital so she could recover at home, but she needed to come back every day for checkups.  On the fifth day, Christmas Day, she was able to open her eyes again

Doctors released her after two days in the hospital so she could recover at home, but she needed to come back every day for checkups. On the fifth day, Christmas Day, she was able to open her eyes again

Madame D'Aprile appears at the hospital

Ms. D’Aprile is pictured above while in the hospital, and later when she was able to open her eyes again

“When I found out my eyesight had almost gone, I told the doctors I didn’t want to live anymore,” Ms. Dabrel told DailyMail.com.

I was in such a dark place and I was going crazy for a few days that I couldn’t see. I couldn’t imagine the rest of my life like this.

She added: “Going from having perfect vision to the next day being told I might be blind for the rest of my life was the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced and I couldn’t wrap my head around it.”

After pot blew in her face, Dabrielle said her eyes felt like they were “on fire” when they began to swell.

She was taken to the hospital by her mother but was transferred to another unit after the unit they went to said they weren’t dealing with burns.

She said: ‘I was in so much pain that my body started to shut down, they gave me morphine which helped with the pain and I could breathe again.

Samantha Dabrel, 19, of Chicago, Illinois, was baking cookies with her mom in December 2021 when a bowl of boiling chocolate exploded in her face.  Her mother took her to the hospital, but she couldn't open her eyes for five days (pictured above in the hospital)

Samantha Dabrel, 19, of Chicago, Illinois, was baking cookies with her mom in December 2021 when a bowl of boiling chocolate exploded in her face. Her mother took her to the hospital, but she couldn’t open her eyes for five days (pictured above in the hospital)

Ms. D'Aprile, pictured above with a friend, is pictured before the accident.  She ran to the bathroom to splash water on her face when the bowl of chocolate exploded

Ms. D’Aprile, pictured above with a friend, is pictured before the accident. She ran to the bathroom to splash water on her face when the bowl of chocolate exploded

Mrs. D'Abrill is in the hospital

Mrs. D'Abrill is in the hospital

Mrs. Dabriel photographed in hospital after injury. She suffered burns to her face and eyes, which left her unable to see for five days

When I got to the hospital, they immediately took me to a room and did all kinds of treatments and tests.

“At this point my eyes were swollen, and I couldn’t open my mouth because that was burning too, and I was really hard on all these medications.”

Examination revealed that she had burned her cornea – or the dome-shaped transparent area at the top of the eye.

Her eyelids also burned.

Medics kept her in the hospital for two nights to monitor her and administer treatment.

But Ms D’Aprile said the nights were “brutal” and left her “unable to sleep”.

“I couldn’t sleep, and whatever sleep I got I was woken up by the nurses giving me medicine and opening my eyes to put drops in, and it was very painful,” she said.

She was also instructed by a blind specialist while in the hospital on how to walk, go to the bathroom, and do other daily tasks without being able to see.

Doctors treat eye burns with ophthalmoplegia drops, which temporarily paralyze the annular muscle that changes the shape of the eye’s lens – allowing it to focus. These muscles can spasm after a burn.

Patients may also be given an antibiotic eye ointment to prevent infection.

Pain relievers may also be given.

Doctors discharged Dabrielle after two days so she could recover at home, although she still had to return daily for checkups.

The student said, “Every day that passes with me sitting in bed with my eyes closed.

I was going crazy from the fact that I saw blackness and there was nothing I could do to fix it.

On the third day of my inability to see, the doctor opened my eyes to see if I had vision.

The doctor opened it and I could hardly see, but it slipped into “bandages” for my eyes.

“The description of my eyes is as if someone had taken a razor and cut both of them.”

Medics feared Ms. D’Abrill could lose her sight, or have her eyesight impaired if cloudy spots were left on her cornea – which could have been caused by injuries.

‘I had an 80 per cent chance of going colorblind,’ she said, ‘because my corneas were so damaged.

“I prayed to God several times a day that I would preserve my sight and that was the only hope I had.”

Cold water was poured over the eye to relieve pain and inflammation

She took this selfie after she was able to open her eyes again

To help her eyes heal, cold water was run over her. This can also help soothe the pain

Mrs. D'Aprile is shown above with her mother.  After the accident, she rushed to the bathroom to splash water on her face

Mrs. D’Aprile is shown above with her mother. After the accident, she rushed to the bathroom to splash water on her face

Five days after the accident, it was Christmas Day and the student decided to try opening her eyes again on her own.

She found that she was able to open them up a bit, though this was very painful.

About two weeks after the accident, Ms. D’Aprile found that her eyesight had returned to normal and that she was able to do everything she used to do.

This included reading, driving, looking at electronic devices, and finding opening her eyes was less painful.

More than a year after the accident, Dabrielle says her eyesight is completely back to normal.

But she says it still left scars on her mental health.

“I had panic attacks about the accident but I learned how to deal with it and what the triggers were for sure,” she said.

I used to be so rebellious and never thought, but now I don’t do anything outside of my comfort zone and I’m even more impressionable.

‘It’s all a work in progress and all it takes is healing time so I know it will get better with the mental factors but the incident is still relevant and I just need to go easier on myself and realize that this is all normal and part of the healing process.

“My plan for the future is to finish school and get a good job in marketing, but mainly to live each day to the fullest and have as many memories as possible with my friends and family.”

How are eye burns treated?

Your eyes can be hurt if you bump or scrape them with something like metal fragments or wood chips, splash them with boiling water, or expose them to chemicals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about 2,000 Americans injure their eyes every day on the job.

Thermal burns on the surface of the eye tend to damage the conjunctiva, or cornea, the transparent part of the eye that covers the iris and pupil.

Doctors may advise patients to take painkillers to reduce pain.

Patients may also receive muscle paralysis drops, which can prevent painful spasms of the muscles that constrict the pupil.

Antibiotics may also be given to help prevent infection.

If the eyelids are burning, doctors say they should be cleaned and then an antibiotic applied to prevent infection.

Source: Merck Manual