Nail Gun Accident’s “Miracle Man”
LOS ANGELES, California (JP) – A construction worker who had six nails driven into his head by a high-powered nail gun on April 19, 2004, is expected to make a full recovery.
Isidro Mejia (ee-SEE-dro may-HEE-yuh), 39, was atop wooden trusses, helping to secure the house frame, when he fell from the roof onto a co-worker who was using the nail gun on the second floor. The two men tried to grab each other to keep from falling, but both fell 15 feet to the ground. At some point, the compressed-air nail gun discharged and drove the 3 ½-inch nails into Mejia’s face, neck and skull.
Four of the nails penetrated Mejia’s skull – three entering his brain, and one coming within centimeters of his brain stem. A fifth nail pierced his vertebral column while the sixth went through his face. Doctors said the nails barely missed his spinal cord, preventing paralysis or death.
Mejia remembered a “shock” to the back of his neck and little else before passing out. He was comatose when he was airlifted to the Providence Holy Cross trauma center (Mission Hills) where he was operated on, with removal of five of the nails. The sixth nail in Mejia’s face was removed four days later after the swelling went down.
Dean Fryer (of California’s Division of Occupational Health and Safety) is investigating the accident to check whether the safety mechanism on the nail gun may have been altered to allow it to fire rapidly.
Mejia’s speech is slow, his face is numb and he walks with minimal assistance, but his progress has been “remarkable,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Rafael Quinonez. Doctors said it is “amazing and miraculous” that he survived, and that they expect Mejia to fully recover after rehabilitation therapy.
Police sergeant Ken Kyle stated, “It was a bizarre accident – one of the freakiest I have ever seen.”
joe-ks.com thinks that he hit the nail right on the head…