Oregon woman describes having rare case of worms in eye

KTVL newscast.

ASHLAND, Ore. (KTVL) - Imagine pulling a worm out of your eye. It was the reality for 26-year old Abby Beckley during the Summer of 2015.

"I looked down and on my finger was a worm, and it was squiggling around for five seconds and it died," said Beckley. "Everyone asks me what my reaction was, and I was just shocked."

Beckley was in Alaska commercial fishing when her eye started irritating her. She thought it was just a stubborn eyelash.

"I couldn't find anything and it went on for five days," said Beckley.

She ended up pulling four more worms out of her eye before seeing a doctor in Alaska.

"It went from 'okay, maybe I have just one worm in my eye' to 'oh my gosh, I have worms in my eye,"' said Beckley.

She then went to Oregon Health and Science University, where doctors collected two more worms and sent them off to the centers for disease control and prevention.

According to a study published Monday by the CDC, Beckley had Thelazia Gluosa. It's a worm that's only seen in cattle and is transferred through female flies. Beckley is the first human to have it.

"Just because I live in rural Oregon is what it is ruled down to," said Beckley.

She says there was no medication for it, and she didn't know when all the worms were out. At the end of everything, Beckley had 14 worms removed from her eye.

"I just had to relax myself and say 'okay, I think this is done I haven't pulled out any,'" said Beckley.

Two years later, she's back to her old self.

"Today it's a normal student college life and my eye is fine and I'm totally fine," said Beckley.

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