A man who accidentally shot himself in the heart with a nail gun last month has miraculously lived to tell the tale.
Aaron (he did not give reporters his second name), from the Woodlands area of Texas, is an experienced carpenter and furniture maker. But despite 20 years in the industry, one of his power tools almost cost Aaron his life.
The accident reportedly happened as the carpenter was putting up some framing for a wall, when the hose of the nail gun got stuck. As Aaron went to move it, the gun went off and shot a 3-inch nail into his chest.
You can see more of Aaron’s story here:
Aaron told KSWO:
Something told me to pull the nail. I reached down, pulled the nail out, put my hand up and thought, ‘I’m going to die.’
Aaron got the attention of his co-worker Brian, who then called Aaron’s wife Liz. He told her: ‘You know if I’m calling, it’s bad.’ Liz quickly told Brian to hang up and call 911, where he told operators Aaron had ‘shot a framing nail right into his chest, right into his heart area’.
Rhonda Ritchy from the Montgomery County Hospital District EMS, who was one of the paramedics to arrive on the scene, said: ‘We knew Aaron was in a lot of trouble, a lot of trouble.’
Dr. Timothy Hodges, the trauma medical doctor who treated Aaron and who knew both Aaron and Liz before the accident, said he stayed focused in the operating room to keep Aaron alive, despite the dire circumstances.
Dr. Hodges told KHOU:
You look at a patient, and you can tell when they’re not doing well, and when they’re doing well, and he was not doing well.
However, despite the usual recommendation, which would have been to leave the nail where it was, Dr. Hodges thinks Aaron pulling the nail out of his chest himself may have saved his life.
Aaron’s wife Liz said:
When Dr. Hodges walked through the door and hugged me and told me that he was out and that he was doing fine, that’s when I knew that Aaron was going to be OK.
Aaron said he was lucky to survive, and that all the pieces came together on the day to make sure he was OK.
The best of the best was all there that day and was able to take care of me. From the ambulance drivers who did amazing jobs to everybody who was in the surgery.
Fortunately, Aaron is already back at work, and has even handled his nail gun again.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.