Man accidentally shoots himself in the chest with nail gun

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (KTRK/CNN) - It was a close call for a Houston area construction worker after he accidentally shot himself in the chest with a nail gun.

Aaron survived an accident with a nail gun that sent a nail into his chest. (Source: Family handout, KTRK via CNN)

Thanks to quick action by a coworker and emergency personnel, he's alive today to tell the story.

"Something told me to pull the nail. I reached down, pulled the nail out, put my hand up and thought, 'I'm going to die,'" said Aaron, who didn't want to provide his last name.

While he was building a house, he missed the two-by-fours and shot himself with his nail gun.

He got the attention of a coworker, Brian, who called Aaron's wife, Liz.

Liz knows trauma as she worked as a nurse for many years and is now part of the administration at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

"He says, 'You know if I'm calling, it's bad,'" Liz said.

She was at the hospital when she took Brian's call. She told him to hang up, and dial 911.

"He was framing up a wall. I was walking around I heard him go, 'Ow' and came back and said he shot a framing nail right into his chest, right into his heart area," a voice can be heard on the 911 call.

When paramedics arrived, they knew things weren't looking good for Aaron.

"We knew Aaron was in a lot of trouble, a lot of trouble," said Rhonda Ritchy with Montgomery County Hospital District EMS.

They rushed Aaron to a hospital where Dr. Timothy Hodges, the trauma medical director, took over.

"I know Liz. I know Aaron. She was here when the program started. It's tough," Hodges said.

He stayed focused in the operating room and kept Aaron alive.

"When Hodges walked through the door and hugged me and told me he was out and he was doing fine, that's when I knew Aaron was going to be OK," said Liz.

Doctors believe when Aaron pulled the nail out of his chest, he may have saved his own life.

Copyright 2019 KTRK via CNN. All rights reserved.

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