GRAPHIC: 11-year-old boy has close call in fishing accident

GRAPHIC: 11-year-old boy has close call in fishing accident
Manning Ruff is recovering after accidentally catching a fishing hook in his eyelid and cheek. (Source: Daniel Ruff)

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A Summerville boy has quite the fishing story to tell after accidentally hooking himself in the face.

And emergency room doctors who took care of him say he’s one tough customer!

Manning Ruff was fishing a few hundred yards from his Cane Bay home Thursday at approximately 3 p.m. when he hooked a bass. But when he tried to pull the fish in, the hook popped out and caught him in his eyelid and his cheek just below his left eye.

His father, Daniel, said Manning realized he didn’t have his pocket knife to cut the line. Not wanting to leave his rod and reel behind, Manning hopped on his bike and rode back to his home with the hooks still embedded in his face.

“When I saw him, I said, ‘Whoa! Get in the truck!’” Daniel said. He took his son to the emergency room at Trident Medical Center in Summerville to have the hooks removed.

Emergency room doctors pushed the hook through his eyelid to remove it, delicately working to make sure his eye wasn’t damaged.

“By the grace of God, his eye didn’t get touched,” Daniel said.

The hook in the boy’s cheek was embedded about quarter of an inch deep, prompting doctors to call for pain medicine.

But Manning had other ideas.

“Just get it out,” he said, refusing the meds.

WARNING: Photos below may be disturbing.

A plastic surgeon responded and was able to remove the hook. The operation only required a couple of stitches, the boy’s father said.

“They told me he’s one of the toughest kids they’ve ever come across,” Daniel said. “He stayed calm through the whole thing.”

He praised the team at Trident for their quick work. He said Manning is home and feeling better…and already ready to get back to fishing.

“He fishes every single day,” Daniel said. “He’s ready to go back.”

But from now on, his father set a new rule.

“I told him that sunglasses and a pocket knife are now mandatory equipment,” he said.

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