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Carpenter Shocks Doctors by Surviving Pierced Heart

Update Date: Oct 02, 2013 04:02 PM EDT

A Minnesota carpenter miraculously survived after he accidentally shot a nail into his heart.

Eugene Rakow, 58, from Twin Cities, fired a 3.5-inch nail directly into his chest.  The nail had punctured his chest and went straight through his sternum.

"I could feel it gurgle a little, crunch a little," Rakow told the Star Tribune. "I knew it wasn't good."

The father of seven called his wife to drive him to the hospital, according to Fox 9.

Doctors at Abbot Northwestern were shocked to see that the nail had went straight through one part of Rakow's heart and pierced another. They said that Rakow had cheated death by only 2 millimeters when the nail had amazingly missed the coronary artery.

"The surgeon said I ought to buy a lottery ticket," Rakow told KARE 11. "He said you've got to be the luckiest man alive."

Rakow underwent open-heart surgery to remove the nail. Dr. Louis Louis operated on Rakow.

"The sternum acted like a 2x4 in that it caught the nail and prevented the nail from going any deeper," Louis said, according to the Daily News.

Surgeons stitched up the small puncture and sent Rakow home two days later. However, the self-employed carpenter, who kept the nail as a souvenir, will need to take six month off work.

"I have a good testimony saying that the Lord saved me, saved my life, and that it's His doing," Rakow said. "Nail could've went either direction, and we could be at a funeral."

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