'I Could See the Nail Moving With My Heartbeat'

Wisconsin's Doug Bergeson is OK after shooting himself in the heart with nail gun
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 16, 2017 8:02 AM CDT
Man Shoots Self in Heart With Nail Gun, Calmly Drives to ER
This photo by Doug Bergeson shows the nail that Bergeson accidentally shot into his chest. (WARNING: That image comes next, and it might be disturbing to some.)   (Uncredited)

A Wisconsin man who doctors say came perilously close to death after accidentally shooting a nail into his heart calmly drove himself to the hospital and even parked his pickup truck in the lot before walking into the emergency room, reports the AP. Doug Bergeson is ready to get back to work this week after surviving a June 25 ordeal that others might not have taken in such stride. Bergeson says he was working on framing in a fireplace at his house near Peshtigo when his nail gun accidentally fired, sending a nail ricocheting off some wood and into his chest. "I thought it just nicked me," he recalls. But as he tugged at his sweatshirt, Bergeson, 52, said he realized only about 1 inch of the 3½-inch nail was sticking out of his chest.

"I could see the nail moving with my heartbeat," he says. "It was kind of twitching with every heartbeat." He was more annoyed than worried and drove himself to the ER, adding that "common sense" told him not to pull the nail out. Dr. Alexander Roitstein confirmed the nail hit Bergeson's heart, saying it was also 1/16 of an inch from a major artery. He commended Bergeson for not pulling the nail out and letting doctors handle it. Bergeson spent two days in the hospital and has been recovering at home since the incident. He finally will be able to return to work this week at the Village of Lena waterworks plant. He also has a construction repair business. "I feel pretty good," he says. "I'm back to doing things carefully." (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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