Green Valley man describes pruning shears impalement

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Doctors are calling an 86-year-old Green Valley man a miracle after he survived an accident sure to make you cringe.

Now he's doing fine and is just about fully recovered.

Besides wearing glasses, LeRoy Luetscher has never had any serious eye problems.

"I'll point out to you that I can cover this eye as good as I can see you out of this eye," said accident survivor LeRoy Luetscher.

His right eye is slightly bruised because a freak accident last month nearly destroyed his sight.

"It was excruciating, I can't tell you how much it hurt," said Luetscher.

LeRoy was outside pruning the bushes in front of his house when he dropped the sheers.  They stuck in the grass and as he went to grab them, he tripped and the sheers went right into his eye socket.

"I couldn't believe it, I just couldn't believe it," said Luetscher.

His significant other couldn't believe it either.

"I saw this instrument in his face.  I said, 'LeRoy honey what have you done.'  I was just shocked," said LeRoy's significant other Arpy Williams.

As he arrived at UMC a team of doctors was waiting for him.

"I've seen nails, screws, but this was pretty dramatic.  You just didn't understand what you were looking at," said oculoplastic specialist Dr. Lynn Polonski.

Doctors injected dye in his carotid artery to see if there was any damage.  Everything was fine.

"We knew we had a foreign body but the question was what vital structures did it penetrate.  What we found was it was in his neck," said Dr. Polonski.

They put him to sleep, made tiny incisions in his sinus cavity, and then carefully and slowly removed the sheers from his eye socket.  Doctors saw that his eye was still in tact and had been pushed up and to the side.

"You could say one in a million kind of situation," said Dr. Polonski.

LeRoy knows what happened to him is almost beyond comprehension and he doesn't plan on trimming the hedges any time soon.

"I have the sheers at home, they packaged it up for me," said Luetscher.  "I'm thanking my lucky stars I'm here."

LeRoy says the only lingering effects is sometimes he'll get double vision, but that it comes and goes.

Other than that and some minor eye lid problems, he's doing just fine.