Student Gets Pencil Lead Wedged In Eye After Classmate Lobs It Across Classroom

by : Julia Banim on : 08 Dec 2019 14:47
Eye PencilEye PencilBMJ Case Reports

A horrifying incident has occurred which should remind us all to be more wary when handling stationary.


A 13-year-old girl from Manchester has narrowly escaped being blinded after a classmate chucked a pencil at her across a classroom.

The lead from the pencil became lodged in her eye just millimetres away from her retina, the tissue at the back of the eyeball which converts light into images.

You can watch the lead being removed from the girl’s eye in the following clip:


As detailed in a report in BMJ Case Reports 2019, the girl was rushed to Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery to remove two parts of the lead pencil from her eye.

Recalling the incident three years after the lead was removed, the girl said:

At first I had not realized what had happened until my friend said I think you have something in your eye.

A pencil had been thrown from the front of the classroom to the back where I had been standing chatting to my friends.

A part of the pencil had gone into my eye which must have happened so quickly as I had not really felt anything.

She continued:

After the operation, I could not see much out of my left eye at all but gradually my sight seemed to improve.

I still have a few stitches in the back of my eye and also at the front but they do not affect me in any way.

Warning: some readers may find the following image disturbing:

Eye PencilEye PencilBMJ Case Reports

After initially struggling to look at light directly, the girl has thankfully fully recovered and now hopes to start her driving lessons in the near future.


However, things could have been far, far worse. Doctors informed the girl the pencil tip had been mere millimetres away from causing her instant blindness.

A terrifying 20% of eye injuries from sharp objects treated at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital reportedly result in vision loss or even the eye being removed altogether.

Lead case author Amreen Qureshi wrote:

One in six of ocular perforation injury in children occurs when an object is thrown.

If acquired vision loss from trauma in childhood is severe, it may cause life-changing differences to a child’s education and future employment prospects.

Eye PencilEye PencilBMJ Case Reports

Going forward, authors of this sobering case report are hoping to warn teachers and parents of just how dangerous throwing pencils can be.

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Health, Eye, Eyeball, Lead, Pencil, Retina