Tyler’s Triumph – Prosthetic Eye Story

I was recently contacted by Shanee Hudson, Tyler Green’s Mother.  As she shared her son’s story I heard an array of emotions, from tragic sadness to the pride she has for her son’s bravery. Please read his amazing journey from his loving mother’s viewpoint.  More of Tyler’s story can be found on Facebook at Praying 4 Tyler Green.

On August 10, 2016, my son’s world turned upside down – as did ours.  He agreed to give a ride to a couple of friends.  The “friend” that was sitting in the back had just bought a high-powered pellet gun (power is .04 less than a .22 rifle).  When he got in my son’s truck, Tyler made sure that he put it under the seat with the barrel facing the door. Tyler was taught gun safety at a very early age, as his father is a police officer.  It was about 3:30 pm just 12 days before his senior year of school started.  Tyler asked the guys if they wanted something to drink for the road – as he was taking them out to their land.  The boys both said yes so being a good friend, Tyler pulled into Chicken Express -into one of the stalls.  He was turned facing left ordering three large sweet teas when he heard the kid in the back say “Tyler” so he looked over his right shoulder and BOOM.  That is when my baby was shot.  Just 2cm from his temporal lobe.  Tyler tried to get out of the truck but couldn’t because he was in a stall so he put the truck in reverse and opened his door.  Blood gushing everywhere and the man in the car next to him immediately applied pressure and called for help.  Within 4 minutes the ambulance was there and loaded him up and took him to the hospital in Fort Worth.  There Tyler had surgery to try and save his eye but the pellet went in, shattered part of his cheek bone, went thru the bottom right of eye and thru the top left and by the Grace of God and my son’s Guardian Angels, the pellet lodged in the corner of the eye next to his nose and didn’t do any more damage.  The surgeons sealed his eyeball that night and removed part of the pellet and we stayed in ICU for 24 hours before moving to the floor.  It was then that he went to see the eye doctors at the hospital – hoping and praying for a positive outcome – but always being shot down.  At this time I was researching the BEST eye doctors near us and planning for a second opinion.  I managed to get Tyler an appointment but would have to wait a week to get in. I just could NOT do that. I needed Tyler to have hope and relief right then.  After getting back to the hospital room we were told that he could no longer have pain meds because “ophthalmologists don’t prescribe narcotics” so this Mama Bear decided that she would check her son out of the hospital and take him to one that specializes in children. Tyler was 17 at the time but he still met the guidelines of 20 and younger so off we go!   That was a BLESSING going there without a doubt.  The eye doctor on call that night just so happened to be the eye doctor that I made the appointment with but was told I had to wait a week!  And the doctor that removed his eye just so happened to be his partner so by going to this children’s hospital, my son was BLESSED with the BEST doctors around.  On August 18, 2016 – just 8 days after he was shot at point blank range – Tyler had his right eye removed.   He has become my HERO and I have found STRENGTH thru him – watching him work, drive; hit the balls at the batting cages, etc.  Tyler is AMAZING and I’m so THANKFUL that he is still here with us.

His senior year started on August 22, 2016, and because all of this happened prior to school starting, I was able to contact the school and make arrangements for him to do his work at home so that when he was ready to go back to school he would not be behind.  Tyler returned to school for a brief time but didn’t enjoy kids looking at him so he came back home.  He received his prosthetic eye by another amazing doctor on October 7, 2016.  After that, he went back to school AND managed to complete all his required coursework and graduated EARLY!   Words can’t even begin to express the joy I felt when I saw my son walk across that stage and get his diploma.  Instant tears and so many different emotions.  Thankful to have him still here with us and so proud of what he has accomplished.

2016 was hard, no doubt.  This accident happened just a couple of weeks after Tyler was there with me and we watched as my mother (his granny) took her last breath.  I truly believe that my parents were there with Tyler on August 10, 2016, and guarded my baby against any more damage.  Forever grateful for that.   Tyler is living proof that if you have Faith and Determination, you CAN overcome anything that life decides to throw your way.  Tyler graduated high school, got a job, was recognized as 1 of 10 (out of 250 entries) as an outstanding young man and was featured in a magazine – twice! He went to Prom, learned how to paddleboard, went kayaking with his mom, and so much more.  He is truly my HERO.

Now, it’s exactly one year later and Tyler looks great.  He graduated high school, wants to attend the fire academy, has traveled to a few places just to get away and enjoy being Tyler, and lives a normal life just like he should.  I know it’s hard right now and there is a grieving process but I also know that Tyler has a heart of gold just like his grandpa (his guardian angel – my dad) and is strong just like his grandpa and nothing is going to keep him down.  I know that there are BIG plans in store for my handsome son and I’m eager to see just what they are.  He is truly a BLESSING in so many ways.

By Shanee Hudson

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