Man shoot 4 inch nail in his heart, lives to tell the tale

yup, that's a nail sticking out of his chest... and in his heart

yup, that's a nail sticking out of his chest... and in his heart

A 52-year old New Jersey man says he feels like he “won the lottery” after accidentally shooting a 4 inch nail in his chest and living to tell the tale.

Dennis Hennis, a builder, was working with his 28-year old son when his nail gun jammed. At that point he made the unfortunate mistake of turning the gun on himself to try and fix the problem. That he did, and sent a 4-inch nail into his chest with a force of 120 pounds per square inch (8.4 kg per square cm) and he was holding the gun roughly a foot away.

The nail punctured his chest and went directly into his heart, piercing his right ventricle which is responsible for sending blood to the lungs. Immediately, Hennis went into cardiac arrest.

His son called an ambulance and he was taken to a hospital close by where he was revived from the heart attack. However, he then needed surgery to deal with the tear in his heart which meant an hour drive to the trauma hospital.

According to the surgeon, “Imagine there is a nail in the heart and they have to do CPR. It turns a little puncture wound into a laceration.”

Scary stuff.

Hennis survived and when the doctors joked he should by a lottery ticket he replied,

“I’ve already won the lottery… I got a new grandson on my birthday on March 23 and a week later I’m almost dead. Now we can celebrate birthdays together.”



A freelance writer & radio announcer with a general love for the bizarre, the weird and the unique.
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