WARNING: THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES THAT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS.
A 23-year-old woman decided to get her eyelashes done for her birthday party — when her entire eyelid was torn off the lash technician’s Chihuahua.
Kelsey Salmon had a vacation planned for her birthday but ended up spending it in the hospital undergoing surgery to have her eyelid reattached.
After discovering her technician was fully booked Salmon found another technician on Instagram. Just after her beauty treatment finished, the technician’s dog lunged at her in an unprovoked attack.
Disturbing photos reveal Kelsey’s entire eyelid lay discarded — her brand new extensions still attached. TikTok footage made by Kelsey dubbed the incident as the “worst lash extension experience,” which went viral.
Kelsey recounted the horrifying tale. “It took place at the girl’s apartment, and this was the first time I’d ever met her. The living room was empty, aside from a lash bed in the middle of the room.
“I lay down to get started, and I could hear the dog barking in her room. This Chihuahua runs in and jumps up on the bed. I start petting him, everything’s fine. Eventually, she’s finished with the lashes and I sit up. The dog’s sitting on the floor, I look down at him and he’s just staring at me. Then, out of nowhere — it happened so fast that I didn’t have time to pull back — he jumped up, bit me in the face and broke my eyelid off.”
“It happened so fast that at the time, I didn’t know what he’d grabbed. There was blood everywhere, and I was trying to catch the blood, saying, ‘What did he grab?’ My eyelid was on the floor, and the girl picked it up. I looked at myself in my front camera and that’s when I started freaking out.
Kelsey continued painting the gruesome picture.
“I’m so lucky he didn’t grab onto my actual eye because that could have been a thousand times worse. I was bawling my eyes out, she gave me a dirty blanket off the floor to stop my bleeding. She’s calling the ambulance; I’m calling my mum to meet me at the hospital.”
“When I got to the hospital, I ended up waiting for like seven hours. They didn’t have any ocular plastic surgeons at this hospital. My paramedics had wrapped up my eyelid in gauze and put it on ice. The nurse felt adamant that nothing could be done. I ended up leaving to go to another hospital at 8 p.m., and I didn’t go into surgery until 1 a.m.”
“My mum sat right next to me the whole time; I don’t know how she did that. Feeling it was bad, but watching it would be worse, I feel like. I was in and out during the reattachment process. It felt like half an hour to me, but I was later told that the operation took two hours.”
While Kelsey’s eyelid is recovering, it could take up to a year to fully heal.
Kelsey said: “They honestly didn’t think the eyelid was going to take, because none of the doctors or nurses I spoke to had seen a full eyelid come off.
“They were in uncharted territory. They were hopeful but the odds were against me. I now take antibiotic drops four times a day, and I also put on a prescription gel four times a day — just to keep it moist. They wanted my eye to be able to breathe during the day, but at night I’m wearing a metal eyepatch with holes.
“At the moment, my eye is all stitched up with dissolvable stitches. It should open eventually. I had my surgery on May 29th and I had a check-up again on June 2nd. My surgeon and all the other doctors were shocked that it was even healing and that it had color. It shouldn’t have worked. They were very surprised and glad it worked. They gave me the go-ahead to go to Hawaii.”
However, Kelsey revealed that her doctors grew concerned about the coloring of her eyelid.
“But even whilst I was on holiday, I was advised to go see a doctor by my surgeon back home. She thought the eyelid looked super dark. This doctor thought I had flesh-eating bacteria which would be super detrimental. When he saw me, he told me I was fine, but put me on an oral antibiotic for seven days just in case,” she continued.
“It’s a great way to make somebody feel bad. I’m confident but it does make me feel like s–t. Having people look at you when you go out will get you down. On TikTok, I mainly get positive comments but there are still a lot of negative people. There are different types of negative people. There are some people who will say, ‘I don’t want to see this, don’t film this,’ whereas other people just make fun of my appearance and crack jokes.”
“A lot of people have made assumptions that I provoked the dog by getting in its face. A lot of people were asking about the dog. How about me? Why not ask how I’m doing?”
Kelsey has since shared her recovery on TikTok after the first video went viral. In the clip, Kelsey reveals pictures of her injury and said: “I can’t even close my eye. Now it’s sewn shut for 10 days.”
Kelsey continued saying: “It’s hard to see this happen to someone else, and I don’t want it to happen to anybody. Because I’m looking out of one eye, I get an eye ache. I get migraines, I don’t trust myself to drive yet. There’s a lot of little things — your eye affects a lot.”
“I just want people to not take their eyelids for granted. It really sucks not having one. I would also advise people not to go to anybody’s house for lashes or nails. Always go to a reputable salon. This experience has made me look at dogs differently. I have dogs myself, and I don’t think of them differently because I know they wouldn’t randomly attack me. But everyone else’s dogs, I’m hesitant around. Dogs are very unpredictable, I can see that now and I’m very careful as a result.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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