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Nail in heart, drives to ER

A Wisconsin man who doctors say came perilously close to death after accidentally shooting a nail into his heart while working on his house calmly drove himself to the hospital and even parked his pickup truck in the lot before walking into the emergency room.

Doug Bergeson is ready to get back to work this week after surviving a June 25 ordeal that others might not have taken in such stride. Bergeson told The Associated Press he was working on framing in a fireplace at his house near Peshtigo in northeast Wisconsin when his nail gun accidentally fired, sending a nail ricocheting off some wood and into his chest.

"I thought it just nicked me. I looked down. I couldn't see anything," Bergeson said in an interview Tuesday. "I felt OK. I wasn't worried about the injury. I couldn't feel any pressure or blood building up."

As he tugged at his sweatshirt, Bergeson, 52, said he realized only about 1 inch of the 3 1/2-inch nail was sticking out of his chest.

"I could see the nail moving with my heartbeat. It was kind of twitching with every heartbeat," Bergeson said.

So he washed up, hopped in his truck and made his way to Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette, about 10 minutes away. 

Dr. Alexander Roitstein confirmed the nail hit Bergeson's heart, saying it was also 1/16 of an inch from a major artery. 

Bergeson spent just two days in the hospital and has been recovering at home since the incident.



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