I Injured My Right Eye When Five Years Old – Gary L. Gutschewski

I Injured My Right Eye When Five Years Old – Gary L. Gutschewski

My story is probably too long for your blog page. I am almost 73 years old. I injured my right eye when five years old. When I was seven years old, they removed it because the pressure mechanism went haywire and I was in severe pain.

I have lived with an artificial right eye since 1945. I had a severe perception problem and would get words mixed up. When I observed the word “saw” I would read “was”. A nun suggested that I make a picture of every word in my brain. I started doing this and it worked. I was about to be flunked in 3rd grade. I was passed on condition and started getting all A’s in fourth grade.

I played sports, including football, went through college, some graduate school. I am retired, am married for almost 49 years, have six grand children and 2 great grandchildren. I have coached baseball, football, soccer, and basketball. I am really fortunate to have the great wife I have.

I have many stories, but one might get the message to get on with life. You can overcome your difficulties. It is not always easy to cope with only one eye. Sometimes people can be insensitive. Take care of the good eye.


  1. Avatar for Dizne Brunen Dizne Brunen on November 23, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Hello Gary, I enjoyed your story. Like you I had my eye enucleated as a child at the age of 5. In some ways I suppose it was better as I feel that I have always been this way. The only real tragedy is adjusting as you go along for as you say people can be cruel. I feel that my life has been a success and I would encourage anyone living with this to be strong and courageous and not allow themselves to miss out on anything because of it. If you have a good support system so much the better.

  2. Avatar for Sarah Sarah on January 18, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Hi Gary,
    My son who is 5 severely damaged his right eye 3 months ago which has caused blindness. The doctors have told me not to let him play contact sport. I don’t want him missing out on anything, if I listen to the doctors will this be sheltering him. I’m really confused on what to do so if you could give me any advise that would be great.

  3. Avatar for Estee Estee on February 20, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Hi Gary,

    I am a writer based in South Africa and I am currently working on a novel in which the protagonist has monocular vision. I would love to ask you some questions around your childhood and what it was like growing up with one eye to make my character more believable. Please contact me should you be interested.

    Thank you,


  4. Avatar for Lisa Crandall Lisa Crandall on April 18, 2019 at 6:03 am

    I injured my eye at age 5 1/2. This was 1965 and although I pretty much “scrambled” it, the amazing surgeon was able to save my eyeball. All ophthalmologists I have seen since have been amazed that it was saved. Becoming blind in one eye at an early age did not really affect me much. Relearning to ride my bike, etc was the biggest challenge. Kids can be cruel and I did endure some bullying for my wandering eye, but I’ve had 2 muscle surgeries and they were successful. I’ve adjusted well to poor depth perception since it’s about all I have known. I just went through evisceration 3 weeks ago as my eye had shrunk and become painful. I’m looking forward to getting my prosthetic and looking ‘normal’ again. Thanks for sharing your stories- It’s nice to know we are not alone.

    • Avatar for Cassie Cassie on August 18, 2021 at 2:23 am

      Hi Lisa, I read your comment and wanted to ask you- how old were you when your eye became painful and needed to be removed? My daughter injured her eye 2 years ago at the age of 5. She is 7 now. She is blind in that eye and wears a prosthetic over her blind eye. I’m hoping her eye does not become painful and that she can avoid that surgery in her life, but thought I would ask you. Thanks so much!

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