Breckenridge man goes six days with nail in his head
summit daily news
January 16, 2005
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.
A dental office X-ray reveals a four-inch nail embedded in the skull of Patrick Lawler. The accident left Lawler with what he thought was a minor toothache and blurry vision.
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, the 9News reported.
The X-ray clearly showed the nail stretching from the upper part of his mouth and 1 1/2 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.
The Lawlers could not be reached for further comment.