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Man gets nailed six times in head - and lives

Published May 6, 2004


A construction worker had six nails driven into his head in an accident with a high-powered nail gun, but doctors said on Wednesday they expect him to make a full recovery.

On Wednesday Isidro Mejia made his first public appearance since the April 19 accident that left him with 9cm nails embedded in his face, neck and skull. He told reporters in Spanish from his wheelchair that he does not remember much about the accident, but is grateful to be alive.

"He says that he's very happy to be alive," said Dr Rafael Quinonez, who removed the nails at Providence Holy Cross Medical Centre. "And he told me this morning that he thought he was going to die. He was happy when he opened his eyes, and he saw that he's still with us."

Mejia, 39, was on top of an unfinished home when he fell from the roof on to a co-worker who was using the nail gun, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Mark Newlands said. The two men tried to grab each to keep from falling, but both tumbled to the ground. At some point, the nail gun discharged and drove the nails into Mejia's head.

Quinonez said Mejia told authorities he remembered a "shock" to the back of his neck and little else before passing out. Three nails penetrated Mejia's brain, and one entered his spine below the base of his skull. Doctors said the nails barely missed his brain stem and spinal cord, preventing paralysis or death. - Sapa-AP

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