Man Nailed in the Heart
A Minnesota carpenter can thank his sternum and 2 millimeters for saving his life. 58 year old Eugene Rakow was building a deck for his neighbor when he accidentally shot himself with a 3 1/2 inch nail….in the chest.
Rakow said he was leaning against a board with the nail gun at chest level. The gun jumped, his hand was on the trigger and suddenly the nail was impaled in his chest. He said he didn’t feel much pain, but realized he was in trouble when he felt a crunch and a gurgle.
Doctors at Abbott Northwestern hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota say Rakow’s sternum acted like a 2×4 to protect his heart, but if the nail would have entered just 2 millimeters further, it would have penetrated the coronary artery and Rakow would have died on the spot. Doctors were able to very carefully remove the nail, and it only took 2 stitches to his heart to fix the hole.
After taking a nail to the heart, Rakow was able to leave the hospital just three days later to celebrate his daughter’s 20th birthday with his wife and 6 other children. He also brought that nail as a souvenier and reminder of just how lucky he was.