Nail shot into heart: Minnesota carpenter Eugene Rakow shoots nail gun into own heart

MINNEAPOLIS - Doctors are calling a Minnesota carpenter the luckiest man alive.

He's home from the hospital recovering after shooting himself in the heart with a nail gun.

Eugene Rakow, 58, was putting on a deck for his neighbor last Friday when the nail gun he was using nailed him, ABC News reported.

On a CAT scan you can see a 3D image of exactly where the 3.5-inch nail penetrated his heart. It missed his coronary artery by only 2 millimeters.

"As soon as it hit me I knew I was in trouble and I thought, ‘Man I gotta get some place and get help fast,’" Rakow said.

Surgeons performed open heart surgery and removed the nail.

"It not only went through the heart once, it went through the heart twice," said Dr. Louis Abbott, Northwestern heart surgeon.

Rakow says he knows he's lucky but instead of playing the lottery, he says his goal now is to return to his work as a carpenter.

“If it wasn’t for God's protective hand I would have been done,” Rakow said.

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