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Freak Accident: Man Impaled by Garden Shears…And Lives!

University Medical Center of Tucson, Arizona(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- “It was excruciating. I can’t tell you how much it hurt.”

That’s what 86-year old Leroy Luetscher of Green Valley, Ariz., had to say about a grisly gardening injury that very easily could have resulted in blindness, brain damage or worse, according to a report from ABC News Tucson affiliate KGUN9.

Last month, Luetscher was trimming plants in his garden when he dropped his pruning shears, which stuck blade-first into the soil, handles pointing upward. Reaching down to pick them up, he lost his balance, and fell face-first on the handle, sending it right through his eye socket and lodging it in his head.

At first, Luetscher told reporters in a press conference Tuesday, he was not sure what had happened. He reached up to his face and felt something unusual.

“I sort of pulled on it just a little, it seemed real solid so I just left it alone and realized that it was the clipper.”

He was rushed to Tucson’s university medical center, to the same surgeons who saved the life of Gabrielle Giffords. Luetscher’s surgeon had never seen anything like this -- and he said that Luetscher was lucky that the handle of the shears spared his eyeball, his brain, and his essential arteries.

Today, Luetscher is in much better shape. But he said that after this mishap, his gardening days are over.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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