Accident

This Man Had A 1963 Ford Thunderbird Turn Signal Stick Lodged In His Arm For 51 Years

All because of a nasty car accident that happened in 1963.

Back in 1963, 24-year-old real estate agent Arthur Lampitt was driving home from a showing in East Peoria, Illinois. He was behind the wheel of a ’63 Ford Thunderbird in the light rain, but the car unfortunately began to hydroplane due to riding on bald tires. Lampitt and his T-Bird smashed head-on with an incoming semi-truck. The wreckage was so bad that initial news reports described it as fatal. Lampitt survived but suffered a broken hip, four or five broken ribs, and nearly 50 pieces of glass embedded in left arm.

He spent eight weeks in a body cast and even required a tracheotomy to help him breathe. And despite all of those injuries, doctors failed to notice another one: the T-Bird’s turn signal stalk was also embedded in his left arm. Lampitt eventually recovered, got married and moved on with his life and career. But about 15 years ago, he set off a courthouse metal detector. Almost immediately Lampitt suspected this had something to do with the accident. A doctor confirmed there was a metal object lodged in Lampitt’s arm, but that it could even have been a forgotten surgical instrument sewed up inside. Not at all gross, but the doctor told Lampitt that if it didn’t hurt him there was no reason to remove it.

Early last month, however, Lampitt began to experience pain in his left arm and even noticed a protrusion. He went to a specialist, and on New Year’s Eve, after a 45-minute procedure, surgeons removed the seven-inch turn signal rod. "I was amazed to see how corroded it was. It’s almost got all of the chrome off of it," stated Lampitt post-op. His plan now is to make a keychain out of it.

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