In 1963, a man named Arthur Lampitt got in a major car accident that completely smashed up his Thunderbird when crashing into a truck, The Blaze writes about.
About a decade ago, his left arm set off a metal detector at a courthouse. An X-ray showed a slender object the length of a pencil, but since it caused no pain or hardship, Lampitt was told to not worry about it.
He was moving concrete blocks a few weeks ago when the arm began to hurt for the first time.
“Everything was fine until it started to get bigger,” Lampitt’s wife, Betty, said. “The arm started bulging.”
Lampitt decided to have surgery. He initially wasn’t sure what was in his arm but wondered if a medical instrument had been left during the emergency room visit 51 years ago.
He unearthed a collection of old photos of the mangled ’63 T-Bird taken by a friend at the scene and noticed the metal blinker lever was missing from the left side of the steering column.
He figured that was it, and surgery at City Place Surgery Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri, confirmed it.
The accident broke Lampitt’s hip, drawing attention away from the arm, which healed. Dr. Timothy Lang, who removed the lever Wednesday during a 45-minute operation, said a protective pocket grew around the 7-inch long lever. Lampitt, now 75, is recovering at home.
“We see all kinds of foreign objects like nails or pellets, but usually not this large, usually not a turn signal from a 1963 T-Bird,” Lang said. “Something this large often gets infected.”
Lampitt is still trying to figure out what he will do with the lever. He thinks he may make a key chain out of it.