Man "lucky to survive" after shooting nail into his heart

Doug Bergeson was framing a fireplace when his nail gun accidentally fired

American doctors say a man who accidentally shot a nail into his heart was lucky to survive.

Doug Bergeson was framing a fireplace when his nail gun fired.

The nail ricocheted off the wood and into his chest.

The 52-year-old from Peshtigo, Wisconsin, said "common sense" told him not to pull it out – adding that he could only see an inch of the 3.5 inch long nail sticking out of his body.

Image: Doug Bergeson

He managed to drive himself to hospital - where staff discovered the nail was just a millimetre from a major artery.

But he said it didn't really hurt:

“It just felt like it kind of stung me and I looked down and I didn’t see anything,” he said.

“I put my hand there and I thought, ‘that is not good.’

He said the nail was “kind of twitching with every heartbeat” on his way to the emergency room, adding that he needed the help of security guard to make it inside.

“When I saw it moving with my heart I thought, ‘I am not going to get anything done today, I can see that already.’”

“I felt fine other than having a little bit too much iron in my diet.”

Image: Doug Bergeson

X-rays showed the nail was about the thickness of a piece of paper from a major artery.

Mr Bergeson was rushed to a cardiovascular hospital by ambulance and underwent open-heart surgery.

He spent just two days in hospital and has been recovering at home since the accident on 25th June.

Doctors said his decision to leave the nail in place "shows the great composure this gentleman had after a very bad day's experience."