Houston Press – The best cosplayers sacrifice a lot of time, money and comfort to pursue what is regarded as an intense art form. “Johnny Hybrid,” the stage name of one half of the cosplay duo known as Hybrid Cosplay, damaged one eye this weekend while desperately trying to remove his special contact lenses. He was preparing to go to Space City Con this past weekend and not only missed it, but will likely have to miss some other scheduled conventions. A doctor at an urgent care center told him he may lose his eye.
Hybrid, whose real name is Johnny Santos, is best known for his outstanding cosplays of Gambit from the X-Men. In fact, his leather- and metalwork is so good he’s been a speaker on costume-making panels and a regular fixture at many pop-culture conventions.
What happened to Hybrid could have happened to any contact lens wearer and the moral of the story is, “Don’t leave your bottle of saline solution out on a counter. Keep it put away in a cabinet when it’s not in use.”
Hybrid’s girlfriend and cosplay partner, Yami Hybrid, had been styling a wig with hairspray and spray adhesive a few days earlier, and some got on the exterior of the bottle. When Hybrid went to put in the $300 special contact lenses he uses for his Gambit cosplay, he first carefully washed his hands, picked up the bottle of saline, rinsed the lenses and put them into his eyes.
The problem is that his wet hands picked up the residue from the bottle. He says he didn’t feel the residue — at least, not until it was in his eyes.
“So I pretty much put in lenses full of hairspray, which burned the crap out of my eye, like, holy hell did it hurt. So out of sheer desperation, I pinched out the contact lens, taking a chunk out my eye with it,” he said.
Worse, since the accident happened on a Saturday morning, the couple had a hard time finding a place open that had the right equipment to evaluate and treat an eye injury. They finally ended up at a MedSpring urgent care location.
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