Man Whose Heart Was Pierced by 3-Inch Nail Drives Himself 12 Miles to Hospital

Playing Man Shot Nail Into His Heart Then Calmly Drove Himself 12 Miles to Hospital

A Wisconsin farmer is on the mend after driving himself to the hospital earlier this summer with a nail sticking out of his chest.

Doug Bergeson said it "didn't really hurt" when he accidentally fired his nail gun at himself in June while refinishing a fireplace in his home. 

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But Bergeson knew something was definitely wrong when he saw the 3-inch nail beating along with his own heart.

“When I saw [the nail] moving with my heart, it’s kind of like, 'I’m not going to get anything done today,'" he told WBAY.

So, without removing the nail, he calmly drove himself 12 miles to a hospital because, as he said, it just felt like the right move, and he felt fine "other than having a little too much iron in my diet."

Emergency room personnel didn't see the situation as quite so comedic and immediately sent Bergeson to a medical center better equipped for such emergencies.

At Aurora BayCare Medical Center, Bergeson encountered Dr. Alexander Roitstein.

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

According to Bergeson, the nail missed a major artery by the width of a piece of paper. He underwent open-heart surgery and the nail was successfully removed with no lasting effects.

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Other than always keeping one's sense of humor, Bergeson said he's learned to be even more careful than before when using power tools.

"Accidents — they can happen so quickly — and fortunately, this one had a good ending," he said.

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