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One-in-a-million rifle shot left Preston man without an eye

Posted on - 9th April, 2024 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Health, Preston News, Ribbleton
Mr Fewery wearing black out lens
Mr Fewery wearing black out lens

A man from Preston has told of how he was left needing to wear a black out lens after being shot in the eye in a freak accident. 

Since that day in 1984, Lee Fewery has undergone 13 operations and left with a prosthetic eye. Despite the severity and impact of the injury, he says he is fortunate the pellet didn’t hit his brain. 

Lee, then aged eight, was living at New Hall Lane in Preston and baby-sitting neighbours alongside his older brother.

Read more: A rapidly growing crisis in homelessness in Preston – what can be done?

He said when checking on the other kids, he noticed they were playing with something. To their surprise, they found an air rifle. 

Lee said: “My brother pulled out an air rifle and said this must be what they’re playing with and pointed it up and it went off, and the pellet hit me in the eye. 

The damage to Lee Fewery's eye
The damage to Lee Fewery’s eye

“I remember running back to my house and upstairs to where my dad was having a shave in the bathroom, and I saw myself in the mirror and I could see blood filling up my eye from my point of view and from looking in the mirror itself. That’s when my dad took me to hospital. 

“It was a one in a million shot, because it hit me right in the corner of the eye and they said I’m actually very lucky as it was very close to the brain.” 

Kelly, Lee’s younger sister, also remembers the grizzly incident.

She said: “I was a child, I remember I was in the bath and my dad was having a shave and I was only three at the time but I still remember it. Our Lee came running into the bathroom screaming and blood oozing all down his face, and dad took him to hospital. 

“They found the air rifle and you know, kids being kids, he pulled it out and aimed it at our Lee and pulled the trigger. It was loaded, he didn’t know. So, he shot our Lee in the eye. 

“But he lost an eye and has had an artificial one ever since. He went through multiple surgeries because the socket gets bigger, and the muscles get weaker. He only had the last operation last year to tighten his eyelid muscles.” 

The damage to his eye was worsened after an incident at primary school led to a fellow pupil poking her finger into his eye. This resulted in an infection. 

An initial operation after the injury resulted in the loss of his eye. He underwent a large number of further procedures in a short space of time and work resumed decades later at the age of 41. 

His most recent operation – the 13th – was a sling which involves cables being inserted into forehead muscles to allow movement in coordination with his prosthetic. 

Lee is determined that his injury should not impact his life. 

He said: “The first page of my medical record still has the pellet sellotaped to it that they removed from my eye.

“I’ve never hidden what I’ve gone through from anyone.”

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