A well-known TV Michigan meteorologist and mother-of-two has taken her own life a month after telling fans she was struggling to recover from laser eye surgery that she got so she could finally stop wearing her contact lenses.
Jessica Starr, 35, worked for WJBK Fox 2 since 2011. On Thursday morning, her colleagues cried as they announced her death on the air.
Starr, whose married name was Rose, had two young children. She leaves them behind along with her husband of eight years, Daniel.
In a statement issued on its website and read aloud by her colleagues on Thursday morning, Fox 2 said: ‘Last night we were informed of the heartbreaking news that our friend and colleague, meteorologist Jessica Starr took her life.
‘All of us here at FOX 2 are in deep shock and cannot believe that such a wonderful, bright and intelligent individual will no longer be with us.
‘Her family and friends will be in our thoughts and prayers in the coming days as we all deal with our grief.’
Morning anchor Amy Andrews tweeted: ‘Our hearts are broken.’ Further details about her death have not yet been revealed. Over the last month, Starr said she had been facing ‘challenging times’ since undergoing Lasik SMILE eye surgery.
The procedure was approved by the FDA in 2016 and is carried out by doctors across the country. It is unclear where Starr underwent her procedure in Detroit.
She had the surgery in October and took four weeks off then returned to work for one day in November but it was too much of a struggle for her and she was back at home the next day.
In a video uploaded to her Facebook page on November 13, the day she went back to work, she was downcast as she asked viewers for their prayers and well wishes.
‘I am struggling a little bit so I need all the prayers and well wishes. This is a hard go.
‘If you have any tips I’d appreciate it, I’m trying to stay strong and get through this recovery.
‘Thanks again for all the wishes, I’m excited to be back I just want to get my vision back so I can keep you guys smiling,’ she said.
The following day, she posted that she had not yet been ready to go back to work.
‘Yesterday was a struggle for me. I really wanted to come back but I need more time to recover.
‘Please keep me in your thoughts during this challenging time. Will keep you updated,’ she said. It was her final post.
Starr had two degrees, one in broadcast meteorology and one in geography and communications.
She regularly shared photographs of her happy family life on her public Facebook page.
Before working for Fox 2, she worked for Fox 45, WKAG 3 and WLNS. Hers is the second laser-eye-related surgery in a month.
In November, Canadian Paul Fitzpatrick, 56, took his own life after blaming the procedure for giving him 20 years of intolerable pain in his eyes.
It is unclear if Starr was taking any type of medication to recover from the procedure.
Paul Fitzpatrick, 56, underwent a laser PRK procedure in 1996 that involved removing the thin, top layer of the eye and reshaping corneal tissue to sharpen vision – a predecessor of the popular Lasik eye surgery.
Since then, the father-of-two suffered headaches and described feeling needles in his eyes as well as an unbearable dry and burning sensation.
He left a suicide note when he took his life in October, which described the pain he felt that pushed him to death.
‘I cannot experience any type of pleasure anymore,’ Paul wrote. ‘Just the pain of burning eyes inside my head and throughout myself…
‘Since 1996 Pain, pain and more pain, please forgive me for not being strong enough to cope.
The past few months have been unbearable.’