Worker carries nail in head for six days |

Worker carries nail in head for six days

Jane Stebbins
Special to the Daily A dental office X-ray reveals a four-inch nail embedded in the skull of Patrick Lawler, 23, which was removed at Littleton Adventist Hospital in suburban Denver, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2005. Lawler unknowingly shot himself with a nail gun Jan. 6 while working in Breckenridge, a ski resort town in the central Colorado mountains. The accident left Lawler with what he thought was a minor toothache and blurry vision. When painkillers and ice failed to stop the ache six days later, he went to a dental office where the nail was discovered.

BRECKENRIDGE – Patrick Lawler didn’t think much about his toothache and blurry vision until an X-ray revealed a nail imbedded in his head – from an injury he suffered six days earlier.9News of Denver reported the 23-year-old Breckenridge construction worker was on a job site Jan. 6 when the nail gun he was operating recoiled, striking him in the face. For days, he thought the pain he was suffering was due to that blow.

The incident wasn’t known to many because once he learned he had a nail in his head, Lawler and his wife rushed to Littleton Adventist Hospital, the television station reported. The chief neurosurgeon there has worked on three similar cases. He reportedly said this was the second such incident where the patient didn’t know he had a nail in his head.The 4-inch-long nail entered Lawler’s upper right lip and stopped inside the front of his brain. It missed his right eye by millimeters, 9News reported.

The X-ray clearly showed the nail stretching from the upper part of his mouth and 1.5 inches into his brain.Surgeons conducted a six-hour surgery, removing the nail through the path it went in. It was possible Lawler could have lost his sight, suffered injury to his brain or even died during the procedure.

According to 9News, the couple plans to frame the X-rays, cat scans and the nail and hang it in their living room.Vail, Colorado

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