Birdshot accident reveals Ohio woman's heart issue

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Family Calls Tragic Accident A 'Blessing'

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) -- The son of a 75-year-old woman who was struck with birdshot by her husband while sitting in a recliner says the accident might have been a blessing because doctors treating her found a previously undiagnosed heart problem.

Charlene Ross' 77-year-old husband told authorities the shotgun went off Sunday at their home in York Township, in northeast Ohio, when he was checking to see if it was loaded. He told deputies he was getting the gun from a closet because he wanted to use it to scare off geese from a pond on their property.

Ross was taken to an Akron hospital, where she was listed in serious condition Friday.

Steve Ross told The Medina County Gazette ( ) his family considers the outcome "a blessing on two fronts" - that his mother was nicked in the neck by only one tiny pellet and that doctors then discovered she had an abnormal heartbeat, or arrhythmia, that can be dangerous and now can be addressed with a pacemaker.

"Had this accident not happened, my mom could have been gone at any time," he said. "You hate to use cliches, but this is a Christmas miracle."

The sheriff's office said the shooting was being investigated as an accident.

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