A self-employed uninsured father of seven was working on a neighbor’s deck when the nail gun he was using kicked back and nailed him in the chest. A three and a half inch nail went through his sternum and into his heart, and he lived!

Eugene Rokow of Minnesota is being called the luckiest man on Earth by his surgeon. Luckily, his sternum acted like a piece of wood and kept the nail from going deeper into the heart. It went through one part of his heart and pierced another. The surgeon was able to pull the nail out and stitch the small puncture and Eugene walked out of the hospital two days later.

He kept the nail as a souvenir but must take at least six months off work to let his heart heal.