A man has shot himself through the heart with a nail gun, in a horrific accident that happened as he was preparing to celebrate Easter with his family.
Dennis Hennis, 52, a self-employed builder was working on his neighbor's roof with his son when the nail gun he was using jammed. As he was attempting to clear the jammed nail he inadvertently pointed the gun at himself when the nail cleared sending the nail into his chest, puncturing his heart.
"It was about a foot away and it went right into my chest, right into my heart," Hennis recalled. The nail pierced his right ventricle, which supplies blood to the lungs causing him to go into cardiac arrest.
Hennis was taken to a local hospital but the extent of the injuries required more specialized attention and immediate surgery. Hennis was airlifted to the trauma center at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey.
Dr. Michael Rosenbloom performed the operation which closed up the hole in His heart. Rosenbloom was surprised that the hole was not larger given that CPR was performed by responding paramedics.
"Imagine there is a nail in the heart and they have to do CPR. It turns a little puncture wound into a laceration," Rosenbloom said.
The powerful tool was built to fire 4-inch nails at 120 pounds per square inch, according to hospital spokeswoman Lori Shaffer.
"We closed the hole and his heart is strong," Rosenbloom told WWMT.
Hennis had good fortune on his side, doctors said that it helped that Hennis did not remove the nail and also credited the quick medical response in the miracle recovery.
After Hennis was off the operating table Rosenbloom told him that he should go play the lottery.
"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," Hennis told WWMT.