US man survives after shooting himself in heart with nail gun

  • 17/08/2017

A US man who survived after accidentally shooting himself in the heart with a nail gun has shaken off his near-death experience with good cheer.

Doug Bergeson, from Wisconsin, joked as soon as he saw the nail moving as his heart beat, he knew "I'm not going to get anything done today, I can see that already."

The 53-year-old had a narrow dodge with death in the accident, when he misfired the nail gun while working on his house.

He remained cool during the ordeal and even admitted he drove himself to the hospital.

"It seemed like the thing to do. I felt fine. Other than, you know, having a little too much iron in my diet," he told local ABC-affiliate WBAY.

The almost 9cm-long nail shot straight into Mr Bergeson's heart, with just over 2.5cm sticking out of his chest.

"I put my hand there and, like, that's not good. When I saw it moving with my heart, it's like, I'm not going to get anything done today, I can see that already," he said.

"[At the hospital] I just leaned over to the security guard and said, 'I got a nail in my chest, it would be great if you can find somebody to help me out here. I'm just going to sit down'."

He was rushed into surgery and it became apparent just how close he came to dying. Dr Alexander Roitstein said the nail not only hit his heart, but was just shy of a major artery.

"A wrong heartbeat, a wrong position, and he would have had a much more complicated problem than he was bargaining for," he said.

Mr Bergeson was sent home from hospital two days later and says he's now ready to get back to work.

He's not giving up his home renovations though - but says he'll be even more careful in the future.