Dennis Hennis, a self-employed builder from Vineland, recently told his doctor that the second chance at life he has received is like winning the lottery to him.
Dr. Michael Rosenbloom removed a four-inch nail from Hennis’ heart that had pierced his right ventricle, sending Hennis into cardiac arrest.
According to Reuters, Hennis was working on a neighbor's roof when his nail gun jammed and he tried to clear it. He mistakenly pointed it toward himself, not a great idea. A nail gun can fire 4-inch nails at 120 pounds per square inch.
Hennis said, "It was about a foot away and it went right into my chest, right into my heart." Rosenbloom told 6abc.com, "He's very lucky. There are so many things that had to take place for him to be alive."
Fog prevented paramedics from airlifting Hennis to Cooper University Hospital, so an ambulance had to drive him the 50-mile distance until the fog lifted. Hennis had to be resuscitated on the way to the hospital after going into cardiac arrest.
Surgeons spent two hours trying to remove the nail and repairing Hennis’ heart. He said to ABC News, “They had to stop my heart for 40 minutes for it to reset, and then they shocked it back on and I’m here.” Hennis said he was in and out of consciousness for three days and doesn’t remember much.
When Rosenbloom mentioned that he should buy a lottery ticket, Hennis said, "I got a new grandson on my birthday on March 23, and a week later I'm almost dead. Now we can celebrate birthdays together." Hennis is 52.
Hennis' family will be holding a benefit for him soon since he is not covered by medical insurance.