Man Survives Shooting Nail Into Heart (Photo)

Man Survives Shooting Nail Into Heart (Photo) Promo Image

A Wisconsin man survived after he accidentally shot a nail from a nail gun into his heart. (Warning: The photo below is graphic.)

Doug Bergeson of Peshtigo was doing work on a fireplace when a nail from the nail gun he was using pierced his chest, according to WBAY. Doug needed to undergo open heart surgery to remove the nail.

"I was just bringing the nail gun forward and I was on my tip-toes, and I just didn't quite have enough room," said Doug, "and it fired before I was really ready for it, and then it dropped down and it fired again."

The gun fired the 3.5-inch nail right into Doug's heart.

"It didn't really hurt," he said. "It just kind of stung me. And I looked down and I didn't see anything and I put my hand there and... That's not good."

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"When I saw it moving with my heart it's kind of like... I'm not going to get anything done today! I can see that already!" he added.

His wife, Donna, was at church, and rather than call 911, Doug drove himself to the hospital.

"So I drove in to the emergency room," he said. "It seemed like the thing to do! I felt fine, other than having a little too much iron in my diet."

"I just leaned over the security guard and said I've got a nail in my chest," recalled Doug. "It'd be great if you can find somebody to help me out here. I'm just going to sit down."

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He sent a text to Donna, but the message auto-corrected so that she didn't realize what he meant.

"I tried to text her, 'I'm at the ER,' and it said, 'I'm at the we,'" Doug recalled, according to The Washington Post.

He then told her he was OK, but he needed a new shirt.

When Donna arrived at the hospital, Doug said he simply shrugged his shoulders. "Oops," he told her.

"He was very astute not to remove it," said cardiothoarcic surgeon Dr. Alexander Roitstein, "because he remembered Steve Irwin, and that's what played through his head."

"A wrong heart beat, a wrong position and he would have had a much more complicated problem than he was bargaining for," Roitstein said. "And so he's quite fortunate from that standpoint."

"I don't know if you know how lucky you are," Roistein told Doug. "The thickness of a sheet of paper was how close you came to having minutes left."

If the nail had gone just a little farther in, it could have pierced a main artery, causing fatal internal bleeding.

Doug said he's sorry for making his family worry, and now has life insurance with the help of his son, Alex, who has a job at Northwestern Mutual.

After the surgery, Doug has a scar, but does not have any permanent injuries.

"Must have had somebody watching over me, because it was close," Doug said.

Sources: WBAY, The Washington Post / Featured Image: Adam Rosenberg/Flickr / Embedded Images: Bergeson Family/The Washington Post, Karen and Brad Emerson/Flickr

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