Man Survives Nail Gun Shot to the Head

a nail gun, isolated on a white background

A man in New Zealand accidentally shot a 90 mm nail into his head. He not only survived, but was able to call for help, despite the injury.

"He was just nailing a piece of wood and the gun misfired, shot through the wood and into his head," a spokesman for the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter told The New Zealand Herald. The man, aged in his 60s, was using the nail gun on a bench in his home in rural Brunswick, near Whanganui.

"Shall we say the man was extremely lucky — the nail was fully embedded in his skull," the helicopter spokesman added.

Even with a nail "fully embedded in his skull," the man was able to call for help. An ambulance crew arrived first, but they called the rescue helicopter for an urgent airlift to Wellington Hospital.

The helicopter crewman added, "He was well packaged up by the ambulance crew that attended him, so we just picked him up from the scene and transported him as we received him."

Even stranger, the crewman said that the man was conscious and talking throughout the flight. "He was stable throughout, surprisingly, given he had a nail in his head," the surprised helicopter worker said.

In 2014, 31-year-old Hawkes Bay builder Robert Barr was not so lucky. He died when a nail gun misfired while he was working on a rural property in Waipukurau. The local community raised thousands of dollars to support his daughter.

How a man in his 60s survived such a nail gun to the head, while a 31-year-old did not is anyone's guess. Perhaps the helicopter crewman was right — this guy just got extremely lucky.