Worker Survives Shooting Himself With Nail Gun

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A typical day on the job turned into a nightmare for a construction worker who accidentally shot himself in the head with a nail gun. It went nearly all the way into Jeff Luptak’s head.

He wholeheartedly believed what would be in store for him moments later.

“I was gonna die in that basement is what I felt like,” he said Friday from his hospital bed in St. Paul.

He was building a home in Bismarck, North Dakota, last Wednesday. His partner lowered the nail gun to him in the basement. Luptak hit the trigger, and he believes the safety button was unlocked.

“And I reached up and turned, and it shot down, straight down, missing the ball of my cap by a quarter-inch,” he said.

The nail lodged in his head, nearly the entire thing, almost three inches.

“All I could think about was my wife and kids.  What they were going to do,” he said.

His construction partnered called 911, and Luptak called his wife.

“He started crying, and said, ‘Kim. I got shot in the head with a nail gun,'” she said.

She met him at a local hospital. Luptak was then flown to the National Brain Aneurism Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul.

“This is an extremely delicate situation,” Dr. Eric Nussbaum, a nationally known vascular surgeon, said while pointing to Luptak’s X-rays and scans.

The nail went through his scalp, through the skull and directly into his brain.

“One can see the nail coming down through the largest and most important vein carrying all the blood flow,” Dr. Nussbaum said.

By keeping the nail inside, Luptak kept the blood inside his brain and helped save his own life.

Dr. Nussbaum and another surgeon carefully removed the nail during surgery and also repaired the damaged vein in two spots.

“He’s one lucky fellow and somebody’s looking out for him,” said Dr. Nussbaum.

That nail pierced the area of Luptak’s brain that affects motor function on the opposite leg, his left leg, so he will have some weakness in that leg.  Dr. Nussbaum said he expects Luptak will make a complete or near complete recovery.

“Yea, I’m very lucky,” said Luptak, surrounded by his family in the hospital. “Lucky to be alive.”

He’s got a lot of time to think about the accident that changed his life, and why he believes he survived that frightful February day.

“God puts you on the Earth to do something, and apparently, I haven’t done it yet,” he said.  “So I’m still here.”

Comments

One Comment

  1. The Joker says:

    Now he has a place to hang his cap.

    1. Kippy says:

      Uh…gene pool remains shallow I guess.

  2. Johnny says:

    Calling OSHA . . . . where was your hardhat??

    1. MORONS ABOUND says:

      LMAO – first dummy one is not required. Two stupid – it would have ZERO bearing as it actually may have imbedded plastic into the skull too.
      For all you idiots – go back to bed as you have no friggen clue what you talking about
      cya

      1. HIS WIFE. says:

        Listen hear you SOB. It is called an accident for a reason. The gun malfunctioned. it’s not like he held it up to his head and pulled the trigger. You should be ashamed of yourself for even saying this. U are the one that doesn’t have a fricken clue what is going on . Shut the hell up!!!!

        1. Bjorn says:

          Just a word of advice: you may just want to steer clear of the comment section on this article about your husband. People are unable to show respect with their comments. Morons just take advantage of the anonymity, and spew hatred. It’s not worth the effort to call these inbreds out. Sad but true.

        2. @ His Wife says:

          I posted the “morons” comment – it was meant to the posts above. They have no friggen clue.
          OSHA – is a joke and a hard hat means nothing in this type of accident. I am in your camp His Wife . I took a 2 3/4″ through the palm of my hand 4 years ago in a similar situation. The safety wa sthere – it just happened. I guess I wasn’t clear in who I was aiming that comment at – many pompous jerks on this baord and they think they know it all. Idiots and morons and that ne the fact
          Best of luck to him in his recovery and to you and the family. This was a rotten piece of luck and an accident.

  3. Linda Mittag Humphrey says:

    Lucky Lucky Man! Wishing you a quick recovery and the best of luck to you and your family.

  4. Bill smith says:

    Every nail gun I have seen in the last ten years has to be “pushed” down in order to fire. I call BS on this. The is absolutely no way for a nail gun to fire without being pushed and then triggered at the same time. He is covering up for his idiot “partner” in crime.

    1. Jason the framer says:

      Try again dude – 3 of 4 I shoot daily req. no pressue on tip, just a trigger pull. And yes – the safety mechs remain on them and they are not set for rapid fire. Good to see all the idiots here on forum are alive and well and full of their usual pathetic beliefs, knowledge and absolute wisdom..
      May you step in a doggy pile wearing your Sundays best at you too

      1. Bpath says:

        Jason, what kind of junk do you use for tools!? Have you been building 1972 split levels with period correct tools or something?? I’ve been in the industry for 15 years, and haven’t seen a nail gun malfunction like that. Malfunctioning nail guns are essentially worthless, and definitely reduce production. Even something as seemingly insignificant as an internal air leak on a gun can create efficintcy issues. They get pulled out of the field, and repaired, or not used. So a gun still being used even though it has a non functioning safety mechanism? Extremely unlikely. Something’s not right with this story (or with our time traveling carpenter)

        1. Tom says:

          I’ve been framing since the ’70s and had more guns like this can I care to remember.
          Folks – this is not a union shop, no OSHA over sight and just a couple of guys trying to get the job done. I’ve seen this occur many times but luckily not thru the head. Fingers, hands, arms and a shot to the gut once. It happens.
          That’s why it called an accident. And trust me – they check the blood for chemicals at the hospital. No reference to that being an issue at all now is there.
          We sure have some Holy Ones posting here – obviously you never worked a job in your lives mostly and those that have are working with tools beyond what many have the use of.
          just stating the facts

          1. Bpath says:

            Did you drag all of your tools from the 70’s with you? If I kept seeing my co-workers getting injured by the tools we were using, I might consider fixing or replacing them. Just a thought…

      2. Bill smith says:

        Glad I am not working around you. I refused to work with equipment that does not function safely before. I have also refused to work with folks that do not take safety serious.

  5. wow says:

    Bill he said he hit the trigger as it came down with a safety lock that wasn’t on? Really… Read

    1. jimmy says:

      The safety lock can not be turned off, he’s lying. The gun was gerry-rigged.

    2. Bill smith says:

      I have never seen a nail gun with a “safety button”. All of them have to be pushed against an object to fire. That being said, why did the idiot partner have his finger on the trigger while handing the gun to Luptak?

  6. Wisc Badger says:

    If you can’t say anything nice….

  7. Wisc Badger says:

    Again. If you can’t say anything nice…

  8. Mimi says:

    What is wrong with you people? It was an accident. Calling him names like selfish moron, trailer trash, and second guessing at what happened is just plain wrong and disgusting. This has happened a number of times and I wish him speedy recovery.

  9. jimmy says:

    This was not an accident this was recklessness pure and simple. WCCO should do a follow up on this story and tell us who is paying the bill. I doubt very much that he had workmans comp.

    1. James Luptak Nephew says:

      This was an accident and all of are employees have workmens comp so there again you have no friggen clue.

  10. mel says:

    So glad this didn’t end in tragedy. My husband is a contractor as well, so I am really glad that this man will be ok and will be around to watch his grow-up. Kudos to the surgeon too!

  11. Malthus says:

    The trigger was probably duct-tapped down.

  12. HIS WIFE. says:

    OK, This is his wife. All of you people that think you have a clue what you are talking about and who are making rude comments can shut the hell up. It is an accident and we are all very happy that he is a live. If any of you that are making the rude comments are any type of a true human being you would also be happy instead of being negative and opinionated people. Don’t tell me how dumb it is that it is BS. It happened. My family is living it.

    Say something nice or not at all. We don’t need to hear all the negative comments now or ever. Keep it to yourself.

    1. Mel says:

      From one wife of a contractor to another; no one can understand what you are going through unless the life of their husband or loved one was at stake. I believe your husband was definitely protected from above. Ignore those naysayers on this page; no one cares what they say anyway. They are negative, and there are plenty of people who are very happy for your family today! I find it so interesting that the nail ended up sealing off any loss of blood by penetrating the artery. What a miracle! I pray for a complete and speedy recovery for your husband!!!

  13. The family says:

    OK, This is his wife. All of you people that think you have a clue what you are talking about and who are making rude comments can shut the hell up. It is an accident and we are all very happy that he is a live. If any of you that are making the rude comments are any type of a true human being you would also be happy instead of being negative and opinionated people. Don’t tell me how dumb it is that it is BS. It happened. My family is living it.

    Say something nice or not at all. We don’t need to hear all the negative comments now or ever. Keep it to yourself.

  14. X-Puffer says:

    Careless Love

  15. rose says:

    You were really lucky. Those things go in a hurry!!! We have family in construction and hope for every day to be accident free!!.Very lucky for you Dr Nussbaum was available. Super Doctor!!

  16. Crazy Joe says:

    Don’t get shot with a nail gun. It will make the news and commentators will rip you a new one plus why were you working with a faulty nail gun?

  17. HIS DAUGHTER! says:

    i hope u have a safe and full recovery DAD!!!❤

    1. jackactionhero says:

      Best comment on this article. I hope your dad makes a full recovery.

  18. willjan says:

    Thats why they call it ACCIDENT there is no rhyme or reason why things happen you can be so very careful and still have an accident . we all love you and your family jeff get well soon. will jan

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