The fact that Erwin Mayr can still see today is thanks to an emergency operation at the Kepler University Hospital in Linz. The 56-year-old was seriously injured while at work. Because when he hit a metal part with a hammer, a splinter came loose – with fatal consequences.
It happened in a split second: a metal shard just two millimeters in size shot through the entire eye of Erwin Mayr (56) and into the back of his retina. “The eye immediately started running like a waterfall,” says Mayr. “I panicked, I thought I was going to lose my eye.”
Serious accident at work
The 56-year-old from Mühlviertel has been working in metal processing for a company in Königswiesen for 20 years. As so often before, the trained agricultural machine mechanic “hit” stainless steel on this Tuesday in August: Mayr hit a grain under a stainless steel plate with a hammer (see photo). The momentous industrial accident occurred: a small metal splinter came loose and shot through the worker’s left eye.
Been in operation for two hours
A colleague first called the doctor at home, but it soon became clear: Mayr had to go to the hospital. There, at the Kepler University Hospital in Linz, the 56-year-old underwent a two-hour operation on the same day. “We first had to sew the cornea, the transparent window in the eye,” explains Matthias Bolz, board member for ophthalmology and optometry. “Then the body’s own lens was completely removed. Then the vitreous was removed – this is a kind of gel that was removed so that the foreign body could be removed with microtweezers. “We then attached an artificial lens with a special suspension,” says Bolz.
50 percent visibility
Immediately after his work accident, Mayr’s vision was only “blurred, milky.” Three and a half months after the operation, his vision is back to 50 percent and will continue to improve. The Mühlviertler cannot feel his artificial eye: “I wouldn’t have known I had an artificial lens in me if they hadn’t told me.”
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