An Arizona man who fell face-first on a pair of garden shears, sending one handle deep into his skull, has lived through the experience relatively unscathed.
Luetscher was gardening in the backyard, trimming some plants, when he dropped his pruning shears, point side down. As Luetscher leaned over to grab the shears that had lodged in the dirt, he fell on them, face first. One of the handles shot through his right eye socket and lodged itself in his head.
"I couldn't believe it. I just could not believe it. I sort of pulled on them -– it seemed real solid — so I just left it alone," he said during the news conference to discuss the injury.
Luetscher said the searing pain actually helped him keep his wits about him. He said he put a T-shirt over the wound to help stop the bleeding and told his long-time live-in girlfriend to call an ambulance.
Today, the Green Valley resident has swelling to his eyelids, and some double vision, but is otherwise fine. He expressed gratitude to University Medical Center and the team of trauma surgeons and specialists who helped him, including Drs. Julie Wynne, Lynn Polonski and Kay Goshima.
Polonski, an ophthalmologist, said the team made incisions underneath Luetscher's right upper lip and his sinus wall, allowing medical workers to loosen the handle of the pruning shears with their fingers. "Once we were able to loosen it up, it went fairly easily," he said.
Doctors rebuilt Luetscher's orbital floor with metal mesh, and managed to save his eye.
Luetscher was treated in the same hospital that helped Congressperson Gabrielle Gifford recover from a bullet wound to the brain. Doctors said it was a lucky miss - if the handle had taken even a slightly different path it could have given him a stroke or worse.