Fresh details have emerged in the horror case of a young woman who gouged her own eyes out in front of a church.

Kaylee Muthart, 20, had been using meth for about six months when she freaked out on February 6 in Anderson, South Carolina, her mother told People in a new interview published on Thursday.

Katy Tompkins, mother to Kaylee and six other children, thought Kaylee first started used meth unintentionally last year, when someone gave her marijuana laced with the drug, the Daily Mail reports.

Doctors believe the meth she smoked earlier this month was also laced, with a chemical that caused her to hallucinate.


She thought the world was "upside down" and heard voices that told her to "sacrifice her eyes" in order to make it to heaven.

Just days before the incident, Kaylee had told her mother she was ready to go into drug rehab.

"The day before it happened, which was my birthday, I was getting ready to have her committed, just to get her off the streets and away from it," said Tompkins. "But I was too late."

Parishioners at the South Main Chapel and Mercy Centre heard Kaylee's screams and ran outside to find her holding an eyeball in her hand.

She fought them off as they tried to help, and by the time paramedics arrived she had gouged out her other eye.

A team of deputies finally managed to control Kaylee and she was airlifted to the trauma unit at Greenville Memorial Hospital.

"I can't even explain that feeling when I found out, it was horrifying. Complete terror," Tompkins said of first hearing what her daughter had done. "I was thankful she was alive, but I knew something was wrong with her."

Kaylee remains hospitalised and doctors have cleaned and treated her orbital sockets to prevent infection.

Doctors recommend she get prosthetic eyes to preserve her facial structure and keep bacteria out of the sockets.

Kaylee insists she get aqua green prosthetics to match her natural eye colour, her mother said.

Tompkins said after Kaylee gets out of hospital and learnt how to live without sight, she wants to share her story with others and warn young people of the dangers of drug use.

"I don't know how I'm getting through it, but she has given me strength. It's weird to say, but she uplifts me right now and she's the one that can't see. That's just the kind of person she is," Tompkins says. "I'm thankful. It's a horrible thing, but I'm still thankful because God spared her life."

The family has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a seeing eye dog for Kaylee.