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Man impales eye socket w/ pruning shears

August 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
An 86-year-old Arizona man whose eye socket was impaled with a pair of pruning shears says he feels lucky to be alive.

Leroy Luetscher said he had just finished trimming plants in his backyard on July 30 when he dropped the shears, which landed point-side down. When he went to pick them up, he lost his balance and fell face down on the handle.

The handle penetrated his right eye socket and went down into his neck. Half the shears were left in his head pushing up against his eye, while the other half was sticking out.

Luetscher said he put his hand to his face and realized the shears had gone into his eye.

"I didn't know if my eyeball was still there or what," he said. "I never had pain like that in all my life."

Luetscher, whose face was gushing blood, was able to walk to the laundry room of his house and beckon his longtime live-in girlfriend, Arpy Williams, who called 911.

Surgeons were able to remove the shears and even save his eye.

Luetscher still has slight swelling in his eyelids and minor double vision but has otherwise recovered.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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