BY RICK WRIGHT –
Former Ladycat two sport star Daryan Torix is recovering from an eye cornea transplant surgery after suffering a serious eye infection that ended her senior softball season early. Daryan is the daughter of Shane and Teresa Torix.
“We have no idea where the infection in my eye came from,” said Daryan. “It was April 29th when we noticed it, the day after our District Softball Tournament. I came home and my eye was kind of irritated. Friday when I woke up it was really sensitive to light. I couldn’t look up at my teachers and had to look down all day. By Saturday, I couldn’t see. They say it was a bacteria. They don’t know if it came from my finger or dirt. They don’t know. It was just a freak thing.”
Daryan’s family was completely overwhelmed by the amount of support that poured in from throughout the community. All over Polk County and social media, the word went out: #PrayFor22, which is Daryan’s high school number. “My mom started that. It was awesome. I had a lot of support,” said Daryan.
“They had me on four different eye drops initially,” said Daryan. “I’ve never been on that much medicine in my life. So I was using the eye drops constantly.” Thanks to her parents’ swift efforts to seek medical attention, Daryan’s site was saved. “The eye drops were to stop the infection,” said Daryan. “That Saturday, when I went to the doctor, they said if I had waited another 12 hours, I would be completely blind. That’s why I had so many eye drops. I had eye drops every seven minutes for 24 hours that first day just to stop it. If I hadn’t gone to the ER, I wouldn’t be going to play anywhere anymore.”
Daryan’s appointments continued for weeks. “I went to the doctor once a week for about two months.” The family then received the news that Daryan would be placed on a list for a complete cornea transplant. “Honestly, I’ve never heard of that before. I didn’t even know you could do that.”
Unbeknownst to Daryan until surgery day was that there was no way to know the extent of the damage to the eye until the injured cornea was removed. “What I didn’t know, when I got to the hospital for surgery that morning, the doctor told my parents that when they got the cornea off they would see the damage,” said Daryan. “He didn’t know what else was behind my cornea that had been damaged. That was kind of scary. We had gone three months and he hadn’t said anything.” The doctor couldn’t see behind her cornea because the scar tissue was so thick from the infection. “But after surgery, he said my lenses were fine, everything was fine,” said Daryan. “The surgery was about an hour and 40 minutes. Then I stayed for about another hour recovering from the anesthetic because I was so out of it. I’ve never been through anything like that before.”
The family is grateful for the expert medical attention received but is very quick to credit God for Daryan’s healing. Teresa began a Facebook group that allowed her to share with everyone the “unexpected journey” of this life-changing event. Shortly following the surgery, Teresa posted, “He [the doctor] was also concerned about bleeding and other possible complications because of how extensive the initial infection was. Prayer warriors you must all have sore knees…my sister’s words 🙂…because he said the lens looks healthy. There was minimal bleeding that he could control and the transplant went well. He did have to take a small part of the iris…her beautiful blue…but if that’s the only issue it’s all good!”
Daryan is already seeing improvements. “My eye has improved since the surgery last Thursday. It’s blurry, kind of glossy, but I can see. I didn’t realize what I couldn’t see. I hadn’t seen the people sitting right next to me for three months. Now I can see them and it’s amazing.”
In the past, Daryan has questioned what she wanted to pursue in college. However, after this life-changing experience, she believes becoming an athletic trainer is what she’s meant to do. “A lot of athletes when they get hurt say they are fighting to get back on the field or court. No, you’re fighting to get whatever is injured back for life, not fighting to get back on the court yet,” said Daryan. “That’s what I tell myself, I’m fighting for my vision. Once I get that back, I’ll fight to get back to playing softball. That’s where I’m at now, on the way back to playing softball.”
The infection ended Daryan’s high school softball career before she was able to take the diamond with her team to claim their second state championship. “PlayFor22” was added to everyone’s jersey’s as the team played with a new motivation. Her last bat was a game winning grand slam home run. But she believes she’s grown as a person through this experience, and looks forward to an exciting future in college and beyond.
Daryan has a scholarship to play softball at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, where she plans to major in athletic training. “I’m so excited,” said Daryan. “Academically, I’m going to Southern Arkansas with 17 hours.”
A very grateful Daryan wants to thank everyone for all the support and prayers.
The sky is the limit for this Ladycat star, who will always shine no matter where life takes her.