Man Works One Day After Shooting Nail Into Own Brain
January 21, 2012

Man Works One Day After Shooting Nail Into Brain

A 32-year-old Illinois man had surgery to remove a 3.5 inch nail from his brain on Thursday -- more than 24 hours after he accidentally and unknowingly shot the thin, pointed piece of metal into his own head.

According to CBS News, Naperville Sun, and Chicago Tribune reports, the man, Dante Autullo of Orland Park, was working on a project at his home Tuesday morning.

Autullo was standing on a ladder, fixing up his garage when he used a nail gun to fire off multiple nails. His fiancé, Gail Glaenzer, told reporters that his nail gun fired whenever the trigger is depressed and a built-in sensor recognized that it was pressed against a flat surface.

After firing off the final nail, the gun recoiled, wound up next to Autullo's head, and discharged. Autullo said he saw a small wound on his head, but believed that the nail missed his head and that the wound was caused by the recoil.

Glaenzer looked at the wound and said she saw no sign of penetration, and Autullo reportedly felt good enough to continue on like normal throughout the day. In fact, according to CBS News reporter Ryan Jaslow, he even spent time working a side job (plowing snow) that day and went to work Wednesday like normal.

Later in the day, however, he took a nap and woke up feeling nauseous, and his fiancé convinced him to go to the hospital. There, x-rays discovered the nail, which was "mere millimeters from the portion of the brain that controls all motor functions," Jaslow said.

He was taken to Christ Medical Center where he underwent four hours of surgery on Thursday morning, added Casey Toner of the Sun. The nail was removed, as was part of his skull, which surgeons replaced with a patch of mesh and a titanium plate.

Peter Nickeas of the Tribune said that he was up and talking as of Friday morning.

Glaenzer told Toner that it was "a miracle" and "un-freaking-believable." She also told Nickeas that Autullo was "doing 100 percent" and "I can't wrap my brain around the fact he had a nail in his."

"Although the surgery was successful, Autullo isn´t out of the fire just yet," Toner said. "Doctors are still worried about any complications stemming from it including swelling, bleeding, and fever."

He is expected to remain hospitalized over the weekend.