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Ariz. man impaled by pruning shears

University Medical Center, Tucson, Arizona via AP

In this image provided by the University Medical Center in Tucson, a CT scan shows a pair of pruning shears embedded in the head of an 86-year-old Green Valley, Ariz., man before it was removed by Medical Center surgeons in Tucson on July 30, 2011. Leroy Luetscher was accidentally impaled through his eye socket after falling on the shears while working in his yard, the handle penetrating his eye socket and reaching down into his neck. He is expected to make a full recovery.

AP: TUCSON, Ariz. — Hospital officials say an 86-year-old Arizona man is lucky to be alive after he accidentally impaled himself with pruning shears.

University Medical Center said Monday that Leroy Luetscher of Green Valley was working in his yard on July 30 when he dropped a pair of pruning shears, which landed point-side down in the ground.

When Luetscher went to pick them up, he lost his balance and fell face-down on the handle. The handle penetrated his eye socket and went down into his neck, resting on the external carotid artery. Half the shears were left in his head, while the other half was sticking out.

Luetscher was rushed to the hospital, where surgeons removed the shears and rebuilt his orbital floor with metal mesh, saving his eye.

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