Eugene Rakow, 58, has a lot to be thankful for after he inadvertently shot himself in the heart with a 3.5-inch nail and survived. According to heart surgeon Dr. Louis Louis, a couple millimeters deeper and it would have been the final nail in the Minnesota carpenter’s coffin.
"The sternum acted like a 2x4 in that it caught the nail and prevented the nail from going any deeper," Dr. Louis told MyFox9. "Once we were able to get a hold of it, we were able to work it out very carefully and then it was a simple two stitches to repair the injury in the heart."
While Rakow was building a deck for his neighbor this past Friday, an accident turned into a nail gun going off directly in front of his chest. The nail punctured his chest and ended up around 2 millimeters away from his coronary artery.
Instead of calling 9-1-1, Rakow had his wife, Carmen, drive him to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Doctors immediately prepped him for open heart surgery. It was only during the procedure that Dr. Louis discovered the nail had pierced Rakow's heart twice.
"The good lord wanted me to stick around for a little longer," Rakow told MyFox9.
After a two-day recovery, Rakow returned home to his wife and seven children. Unfortunately, doctors have advised him to refrain from heavy lifting for quite a while. Both self-employed and uninsured, he has no way of financing his medical bills without work.
Luckily, with the support of his community, a fundraising account at local banks has been started for the Rakow family. Friends and family also helped finish building the deck.