HARDY, AR (KAIT) – A former Region 8 resident will be featured on Animal Planet's Monster's Inside Me Wednesday, August 4 at 9 PM. Kenneth Watson, who graduated from Highland High School three years ago, is the lead story on the program, which tells horrific tales of people who become hosts to parasites. The episode, titled Breeders, talks to Watson about events happened five years ago, when he was diagnosed with "Ocular Myiasis".
"Five years ago I was waking up for school and I just couldn't see," said Watson. "Looking down on the ground, waving my hand in front of my face, still couldn't see it, when I got to the bus stop, I just turned around, started crying that I was 15,16 going blind."
Watson said Wednesday he went to see his family doctor, Doctor Jerry Ellis in Ash Flat. Ellis told Watson to immediately travel to Memphis, where Doctor Steve Charles with the Hamilton Eye Clinic examined his eye.
"It was scary, only being able to see out of your peripheral vision is not something you're used to, not being able to look and focus on something," said Watson.
According to the episode, Charles found a hemorrhage, which blocked Watson's vision. The optic nerve in his right eye was blocked.
"If I covered my right eye up, I could see everything fine, but if I uncovered it, then everything was blocked, my double, my dual vision was messed up," said Watson.
Watson said doctors performed emergency surgery on his right eyeball. A fly maggot had been feeding on his retina tissue.
"It was still alive eating and burrowing its way in my eye," said Watson. "The realization that there's actually something inside me eating me, it's scary for a moment but then you kind of just try to cope with it."
During surgery, doctors used a tiny camera and laser to kill and remove the maggot. Watson said doctors believed the maggot got there when a gnat landed in his eye.
"About two weeks before this all happened, I had a gnat land in my eye walking to school, just outside," said Watson.
Doctors believed the gnat laid an egg when it was inside. When the eggs hatched, it began feeding on the flesh of Watson's eye.
"My eye was black and my whole white, the white part of my eye was bloody," said Watson. "When we went to look it up there was nothing, there was one girl in France eons ago that had it."
Watson is now required to wear glasses and his right eye occasionally twitches; however he has no permanent damage.
"It was fun because I had always wanted to be on TV," said Watson. "Somebody asked me what do I call it, and we just said maggotitis."