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Bizarre Gardening Accident. No, Really

Photo: University Medical Center

I don’t know whether this really counts as nerd-bait. It involves surgery and medicine, so on that end, it does. It also involves pruning shears embedded in a guy’s head, so… well, come on, this stuff fascinates you, too. Admit it.

The story, reported by the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, involves Leroy Leutscher, an 86 year old man who was doing some gardening work when he a) dropped his pruning shears, which b) landed point-side down, whereupon he bent to pick them up and c) lost his balance, which led to d) the picture you see here, courtesy of University Medical Center. The Star says that one side of the handle went — okay, if you’re squeamish, you might want to take a break here — through his eye socket and down his neck. The other side stuck out of his eye socket.

And that was four weeks ago. Today… he’s okay. Slight swelling, minor damage, but he’s okay. They removed the shears, rebuilt his orbital floor with metal mesh, and saved the eye. As medical stories go, this one has a nearly miraculous conclusion.

But, of course, NMA News Direct, the Taiwanese animation folks who latch onto every news story, did their own version:

And now I have yet another reason to hire gardeners to do the yard work.


  1. Jason says:

    It was a million to one shot, doc. Million to one.

  2. One-eyed Pete says:

    As an eye-gouging enthusiast, I find pruning shear handles to be inefficient eye-gouging tools.

  3. Hickspy says:

    Seraph beat me to the Hot Fuzz joke.

    *shakes fist*

  4. Creepy Carl says:

    Why is every one care about this, when i got shears suck inside me i only got weird looks?

  5. Jess says:

    “Pardon me, have you seen my garden shears?”
    “You’ve misplaced them again? Perhaps you had better keep your eye on them.”


    Seriously, I am glad he seems to be all right. Truly, a horrifying accident.

  6. Bryan says:

    As a horticulturist (plant nerds are the nerdiest of all nerd) I love the happy ending.

  7. luke Porter says:

    Ah, my hometown. I’ll always love it here (even if it is like Portland and Austin’s developmentally disabled little cousin.)

  8. Seraph says:

    After seeing Hot Fuzz, do we really believe that this was an accident? “She tripped and fell on her own shears”? We’ll see.

  9. Chris says:

    As a med student, this is right up my alley. Time to forward to my classmates.

  10. Leah says:

    Not as cool as Phineas Gage but I’ll take it. Also ick.