I Still Love To Play Sport – Bruce’s Story

I Still Love To Play Sport – Bruce’s Story

I was 12 years old in the spring of 1972. My older brother and I were playing basketball in the woods behind our house.

The net was mounted to a big oak tree and a 3 foot stick was used for the marker line.

We started to fight but being much smaller I decided to run away to avoid a beating.

My brother picked up the marker stick and through it at me just as I turned my head back to see where he was.

It punctured my left eye and my brother with great shame helped me home.

I was in the hospital 27 days. The doctor said I would be home in 3 days and everything would be fine.

After 10 years of operations and millions of eye drops the eye finally said enough is enough.

I had it removed when I was 25. I have not felt sorry for myself once over this eye, only for my brother. That is what hurts me the most.

I think to this day he feels terrible about it and has lived his life thousands of miles away just to avoid seeing me and constantly feeling the guilt.

I have told him it doesn’t effect my life at all and I am in sales now and I don’t need 2 eyes for that.

I was one of the top athletes in my school at the time of the accident. I won every track and field event.

I played football, hockey, baseball, and lacrosse. But after the accident my parants didn’t want me to play contact sports anymore, for fear of losing another eye.

I didn’t for a couple years but decided that I just had to play. I was determined to be as good or better than anyone with 2 eyes. And I was, and that gave me respect and confidence.

There was name caling and there still is but mostly all in fun.
I am 50 years old now, and I have been playing hockey since I was 16.

I wear a full face plastic sheild, and have never come close to having another eye injury in Hockey. I have great hand eye cordination and better than most people.

I had the highest batting average in youth baseball, usually one of the top scorers in our league and team in hockey. Most people can’t can’t believe I have one eye.

I am older and slower now but still love to play.

My advice to anyone is don’t ever beleive you can’t do something just because your friend, your teacher, your parants, your boss, your coach, or anyone says you can’t.

I have heard it way to many times and even to my own astonishment, I did do it and what are they talking about?


  1. Playing Sport After Eye Loss on March 16, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    […] I Still Love To Play Sport – Bruce’s Story […]

  2. Avatar for Joshua Swanson Joshua Swanson on April 13, 2011 at 1:42 am

    I played high school sports all four years. The athletic board gave my parents and I a very hard time and we had to sign waivers of liability just to allow me to play.

    I still play basketball twice a week and also play in a weekend football league. I don’t think monocular vision limits people at all when it pertains to sports.

    Great post, Thank you.

  3. Avatar for Carlton Carlton on August 4, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Bruce, like hearing stories of people they don’t let the loss of an eye slow them down. I too loss my eye in a BB gun accident. I was 8 yrs old. I didn’t give the loss of the eye much thought. Just keep being a kid. I played little league once I got over my surgery. I played all through High School. I played outfield, an was a picther for our team. I was good enought to get a scholarship to collage Baseball (pitcher an ortfielder. I don’t know where people can say you will have depth preception. I guess I just never let anyone tell me what I couldn’t do. Enjoyed your Story Bruce.

  4. Avatar for Neil Neil on September 8, 2011 at 5:43 am

    I lost my eye when I was 2years old i lived with it all my life i am now 44years old i am in the new york guard 3rd. regiment 2nd. batt. co.A search and rescue you can do any thing you want in life have a good day Neil Martin

  5. Avatar for Leeanne Small Leeanne Small on January 19, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    My 12 year old son has just lost the sight in his left eye due to an air rifle shot coming through a nearby window, he is passionate about rugby and before reading Bruce’s story was devastated by the thought of having to tell him he would not be able to play (advised by surgeon due to fear of losing the sight in good eye) I have taking so much comfort in reading your stories. Thank you

  6. Avatar for Shelli Williamson Shelli Williamson on June 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I had a bad car accident Mar 8 of this year. The trauma surgeons and now my eye trauma specialist have done all that is possible. My left eye will be removed sometime in July. There is a great ocularist in Dallas that hopefully will build me new eye. I am almost doing everything I was doing prior to the accident…swimming, painting, reading, exercising, cooking…I know that everyone can do just about anything they set their minds to. Thanks to everyone for the encouraging stories and God bless you all.

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