Local teen left partially blind after buying costume contacts at Gibraltar Trade Center

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (WXYZ) - A St. Clair Shores teen was left partially blind in one eye after wearing a pair of costume contacts. A month later, the Lakeview High School senior faces possible surgery.

“I wish I never did it, to be honest,” said Leah Carpenter.

It was supposed to be part of a fun Halloween costume the for 17-year-old and her powder puff team. All of the girls were dressing up as zombies with creepy contact lenses.

The very next day, Leah experienced her own personal nightmare.

“Her eye was really swollen and red and I asked her if she had pink eye or something,” said her mother, Dawn Carpenter.

It was a lot worse. According to the Carpenters, a lens had ripped out a top layer of her cornea.

“I’m devastated,” said Dawn Carpenter. “It happened in late September and we have been going to the opthamologist everyday.”

“I missed out on homecoming. My school work is really behind,” said Leah Carpenter. “My vision is not going to be 100%.  I have a long road.”

Leah says she bought the lenses from Body Jewelry & More, a vendor which according to its website promises to sell FDA approved contacts.

According to the teen and her mother, they have a booth set up at the Gibraltar Trade Center.

Homeland Security Investigations told 7 Action News no one should be selling any type of contact lenses, except doctors.

“I think the misconception is they don’t alter your vision they just change the way you look. They change your appearance so it’s more of a cosmetic, a fashion accessory, something to add to a costume,” said Special Agent Lorin Alaine.  “They are a medical device and they require a prescription. To buy or sell them without a prescription is illegal.”

7 Action News spoke to the vendor by phone, and he denies selling contact lenses, but insisted that they were okay to sell because he has seen them in dollars stores.

When we explained why the lenses were illegal, he hung up the phone.

7 Action News contacted the owner of Gibraltar Trade Center.

He said he did not know the contacts were being sold, but plans to investigate.

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