Man drives himself to hospital after nail pierces his heart

Doug Bergeson drove 12 miles to an emergency room after the nail gun mishap.

ByABC News
August 15, 2017, 12:35 PM

— -- A Wisconsin man is lucky to be alive after a nail pierced his heart during a construction accident.

While building a frame for a fireplace seven weeks ago, Doug Bergeson was holding a nail gun and accidentally fired a three-and-a-half inch nail into his chest.

"It didn’t really hurt. It just felt like it kind of stung me," Bergeson told ABC affiliate WBAY-TV.

But his work for the day was definitely over.

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

Though the small metal spike was sticking out of his chest, Bergeson didn’t bother to call 911. He drove himself 12 miles to Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette.

"It seemed like the thing to do," Bergeson said. "I felt fine, other than having a little too much iron in my diet."

Hospital staff rushed Bergeson to Aurora BayCare Medical Center where he underwent open-heart surgery.

"A wrong heartbeat, a wrong position and he would have had a much more complicated problem than he was bargaining for," said Dr. Alexander Roitstein, who performed the surgery.

Bergeson did not have any permanent damage to heart, just a scar and an appreciation for the power of nail guns.

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