Bali Tourist Almost Blinded By Contaminated Water At Hindu Temple

Bali is a popular destination for Australian and New Zealand holiday makers as its located close by and provides a cheap and cheerful destination for those on a budget, or others in pursuit of their very own 'Eat, Pray, Love' awakening. Sadly though for one woman, Jenine Briggs from New Zealand, she almost lost the sight in one eye as a result of placing her head under a popular Hindu water fountain.

A mother of two children, Jenine endured an agonizing 6 day treatment to cure an eye infection she picked up by dunking her head under holy water at a Bali temple, while on a week long yoga holiday.

During her trip, Jenine paid a visit to the Hindu Balinese water temple Tirta Empul, near the town of Tampaksiring and following along with other tourists she dipped her head in the temple's holy water.


'At the temple the water looked absolutely clear and pristine and the custom is that you dunk your head under some of the fountains coming out of the temple, which I did,' - she told The Daily Mail Australia.

Placing her head under one of the temple's fountains seemed innocuous, yet two days later as she was due to fly home, her eye drastically deteriorated. As she went to inspect her eye in the airport's bathroom, she was shocked to see a discharge oozing out of her eye, while it was also noticeably red and inflamed. Jenine boarded the plane in agony and during a stopover in Sydney was assessed by a nurse and was thankfully give the all clear to fly her final leg home.

'The flights were a pain endurance test, it was too painful and hard to open my eye, so I pretty much just sat in my seat the whole time with my eyes closed,' she said.


On arriving back home in Auckland New Zealand, Jenine rushed to an accident and emergency clinic where she was later admitted to Greenlane Hospital's eye clinic.

'They sent me home with antibiotics but said if my eye wasn't better in 48 hours I was to come back,' she said. 'It wasn't better so I went back 48 hours later and was admitted to hospital that day'.

To gain a sample of the infected eye during diagnosis, a razor blade was used to scrape off the top layer of her cornea 'several times'. Brigg's specialist revealed that she had contracted a waterborne infection and patients with the same rare infection have lost their sight.

For Jenine, the treatment was a gruelling ordeal, where she was woken hourly for five days to be given eye drops and antibiotics.

Sandra Hawkins

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