On February 6, Anderson County, S.C. police dispatchers responded to a horrifying 911 call from church worker Elizabeth Hiott, reports WYFF. Hiott said she was working at South Main Chapel and Mercy Center when she heard a young girl screaming. So she ran outside.
Witnesses said they saw blood and 19-year-old Kaylee Muthart kneeling near a railroad track using her hands to pull out her eyes.
Hoitt told WYFF it was terrible to witness.
“I immediately called 911 and it almost felt like the 911 dispatcher didn’t even believe me, that’s how crazy it was.”
Witnesses said Muthart gouged out her eyes and held them in her hands. Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride said “it took two or three deputies and two emergency medical workers to subdue the woman to start rendering aid” because she fought anyone who came near her.
Muthart was put on a stretcher and flown by helicopter to the emergency room. She’s now in stable condition and speaking out for the first time since the incident made national news.
Muthart revealed to Cosmopolitan that her whole world “went black” that day.
The 20-year-old explained that she had a methamphetamine hallucination the day she removed her eyes and now she’s blind.
She told Cosmopolitan:
“Just over a month ago, I could see. Or maybe I should put it this way: I had both my eyes, but they didn't help me notice how dangerous my life had become.”
Muthart, once a straight A student and practicing Christian, said her life took a dangerous turn when she started using drugs.
At 17, halfway through eleventh grade, Muthart took a break from school, and around this time, when she turned 18, she started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.
“I suspected I was prone to addiction, since it ran in my family, so I actively avoided what I considered more serious drugs.”
Last summer, when she was 19, she smoked marijuana that she thought was laced with cocaine or meth. She said she got a strange high and it made her feel “particularly close to God.”
“I was surprised, since I’d never perceived weed as a gateway drug, but here I was, being exposed to substances I never wanted in my life.”
According to Cosmo, Muthart said her life began to “deteriorate.” She stopped working and attending school. During this time she also broke up with her boyfriend of two years.
To cope she smoked marijuana, drank alcohol, and started taking Xanax recreationally.
“On the verge of our breakup, I had a mental breakdown. (Months later, in February 2018, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It made sense, since when I felt happy, I felt super happy, and when I felt down, I felt deeply depressed. The turbulence left me especially susceptible to drug abuse, my doctors later told me.)”
The 19-year-old finally got a job but she said she was still lonely and unhappy. This lead her to smoking meth for the first time.
Muthart remembered how it felt the first time she smoked marijuana laced with meth— she thought smoking meth would give her a sense of peace, reports Cosmo.
Muthart had a hallucination while high on meth and decided to stay clear of the drug and try ecstasy instead. While on ecstasy, she studied the Bible and was convinced that meth would “bring her closer to God.”
“I misinterpreted a lot of it (the Bible)."
Muthart's mom, Katy Tompkins, realized she was struggling and tried taking her daughter to a rehab facility.
Tompkins told People that she knew her daughter started using meth when she moved out. Tompkins said she tried to get her help days before the incident.
She told People:
“The day before it happened, which was my birthday, I was getting ready to have her committed, just to get her off the streets and away from it. But I was too late.”
On the evening of Monday, February 5, Muthart bought meth from a drug dealer and took the highest dose she’d ever used before. The next day, the day of the incident, she was high and hallucinating. She explained that she gouged out her eyes because she thought it would be a religious sacrifice to save the world from ending.
“Here's what happened: Thinking the friend I'd gotten high with had gone to church, I wandered there along a railroad track. Even though it was 10:30 in the morning, everything looked dark and gloomy apart from a light post, where I thought a white bird was perched.
It was then I remember thinking that someone had to sacrifice something important to right the world, and that person was me. I thought everything would end abruptly, and everyone would die, if I didn't tear out my eyes immediately. I don't know how I came to that conclusion, but I felt it was, without doubt, the right, rational thing to do immediately.
I got on my hands and knees, pounding the ground and praying, ‘Why me? Why do I have to do this?’
Next, a man I'd been staying with, who happened to have a Biblical name, drove by and called out the window, 'I locked up the house. Do you have the other key?'
She thought this was a sign, she thought, her sacrifice was the key to saving the world."
Muthart described the gruesome incident to Cosmo:
“I pushed my thumb, pointer, and middle finger into each eye. I gripped each eyeball, twisted, and pulled until each eye popped out of the socket — it felt like a massive struggle, the hardest thing I ever had to do. Because I could no longer see, I don't know if there was blood. But I know the drugs numbed the pain.”
Muthart said she would have tried to “claw right into my brain” if Hiott and another pastor hadn't heard her screaming.
She said later she realized “this wasn't a personal religious calling — it was something anyone on drugs could have experienced.”
Since the incident she has been treated for bipolar disorder at a psychiatric treatment facility. Now blind, Muthart has joined Commission for the Blind and is using physical therapy training to learn how to walk with a cane. She also joined a new church.
She told Cosmo:
“Of course there are times when I get really upset about my situation, particularly on nights when I can't fall asleep. But truthfully, I'm happier now than I was before all this happened. I'd rather be blind than dependent on drugs.”
Muthart believes that:
“It took losing my sight to get me back on the right path.”
But she is happy to be where she is:
“From the bottom of my heart, I'm so glad I'm here.”
Through therapy, Muthart is learning how to accept her new reality.
People reports that doctors believe Muthart's hallucinations were caused by meth laced with another chemical on the day of the incident."