Sunday 11 December 2016

OAP tells of shears-in-eye ordeal

Published 31/08/2011 | 04:31

An x-ray showing the pruning shears embedded in the head of Leroy Luetscher (Right Photo)
An x-ray showing the pruning shears embedded in the head of Leroy Luetscher (Right Photo)
Leroy Luetscher after he survived being impaled through the eye with a pair of pruning shears (AP)

An 86-year-old man has spoken of how he amazingly cheated death after being impaled through the eye by a pair of pruning shears.

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Leroy Luetscher, of Phoenix, Arizona, had just finished trimming plants in his back garden when he fell face-first into the shears, sending one of the handles through his right eye socket and halfway into his head.

Unsure what had happened, Mr Luetscher reached up and felt the shears jutting from his face. He was covered in blood and in more pain than he had ever felt in his life.

"I didn't know if my eyeball was still there or what," he said. "The pain was so bad that I guess I wasn't afraid to die."

Mr Luetscher managed to put his t-shirt over the wound to staunch the bleeding. He said the excruciating pain was what kept him conscious and able to walk to the laundry room of his house to summon his live-in girlfriend, who called emergency services.

In hospital, a team of surgeons took scans of his brain and came up with a plan to treat him. They learned the handle had gone 6ins into his head and was resting against the carotid artery in his neck.

"It was a bit overwhelming," said Dr Lynn Polonski, one of Mr Luetscher's surgeons. "It was wedged in there so tightly you could not move it. It was part of his face."

Doctors rebuilt Mr Luetscher's orbital floor with a titanium plate and put him on antibiotics for 20 days to stave off an infection that could have proved fatal.

Dr Polonski said so many things could have gone much worse for Mr Luetscher. The shears could have ruptured his eyeball, hit his brain or severed his carotid artery.

"He's was very lucky that it missed all vital structures and we were basically able to put him back together."

Press Association

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