Man Shoots Self In Heart With Nail Gun, Washes Up And Drives To Hospital

This Wisconsin man has lived to tell his story of how he accidentally shot himself in the heart with a nail gun and then drove himself to the hospital. 

Doug Bergeson of Peshtigo, Wisconsin was framing a fireplace in his house when his wife was at church.

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

With bullet-like speed, the 3 1/2 inch framing nail was shot straight into his heart. 

Bergeson said it "didn't really hurt" and he thought the nail had just nicked him until he looked down and saw a 3 1/2" framing nail sticking out of his chest.

"That's not good," he thought.

Bergeson said he could see the nail moving with every beat of his heart.

“I’m not going to get anything done today,” he thought.

Bergeson says he washed up and calmly drove about 12 miles to a hospital, The AP reported.

“It seemed like the thing to do,” Bergeson told the TV station. “I felt fine, other than having a little too much iron in my diet.”

Bergeson said he didn't remove the nail because he remembered what happened to the "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, who died in 2006 after a stingray stung him.  INitial reports claimed that he died from loss of blood because he pulled the barb out of his chest.

“A wrong heart beat, a wrong position and he would have had a much more complicated problem than he was bargaining for,” cardiothoracic surgeon Alexander Roitstein told the TV station.

Bergeson, who is back on his feet now, said the nail missed a main artery by the thickness of a piece of paper.

He shared his story publicly to warn others to be careful using nail guns.

He has a scar to show what can happen when you’re not.

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