GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING
A Wisconsin man who accidentally shot a nail into his heart lives to tell the tale.
Doug Bergeson was working on framing in a fireplace at his house on June 25 when his nail gun inadvertently fired a metal spike that ricocheted off some wood and into his chest.
If that wasn’t shocking enough, the 52-year-old Peshtigo native, who works at a waterworks plant, calmly walked into the emergency room of nearby Bay Area Medical Center after driving his own pickup truck.
“I thought it just nicked me. I looked down. I felt OK,” Bergeson told the Associated Press on Tuesday about the incident. “I wasn’t worried about the injury. I couldn’t feel any pressure or blood building up.”
Bergeson, who will return to work this week, remembered seeing an inch of the 3½-inch nail sticking out of his chest, and how his “common sense” convinced him not to pull the nail out.
“I could see the nail moving with my heartbeat. It was kind of twitching with every heartbeat,” he recalled, adding that he was more “frustrated” that he was leaving his construction project undone.
“I knew I wasn’t going to get home until late and I couldn’t get anything done,” shared Bergeson, who even offered to drive himself to another hospital before being rushed by ambulance.
Aurora BayCare Medical Center’s cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Alexander Roitstein, confirmed to AP the nail did hit Bergeson’s heart and that the nail was 1/16 of an inch from a major artery.
After spending two days in the hospital, Bergeson left with only some bruising and a nail-sized hole.
“I feel pretty good. I’m back to doing things carefully. It was a pretty awakening experience,” he said.
“Made my whole family very nervous, I’m sorry about that!” Bergeson said with a laugh during a recent interview with local ABC affiliate WBAY.