Gainesville Construction Worker Accidentally Shoots Himself in the Chest

This JOUC3109c assignment was to create a news story based on the information given to us by our instructor. This assignment allowed us to practice this form of writing and to practice our AP Style skills.

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla.- Daniel Harper, a Gainesville construction worker for Lean On Us Builders, is lucky for the outcome of his unlucky incident.

On October 3rd, Harper, 52, was laying shingles down on a roof of a new home site when his nail gun jammed. He tried to fix it by gripping the gun between his knees and pulling the bent nail out. While trying to remove the four-inch nail, the gun went off.

“It was about a foot away and it went right into my chest, right into my heart,” said Harper.

Harper’s coworker, 28-year-old Jerry Reeker, heard him scream and saw him grip his chest. He immediately knew what had happened and instructed Harper to stay still as he called 911 from his cell phone.

“I didn’t have time to be scared. I just went into automatic drive and tried to get Daniel help,” said Reeker.

“He did the right thing by not trying to remove the nail himself,” said Dr. Terrell Walker, cardiac surgeon at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital. “His friend did the right thing by getting medical attention immediately.”

The nail pierced Harper’s right ventricle, which supplies blood to the lungs, and Harper went into cardiac arrest. “We closed the hole and his heart is strong,” said Walker. “His recovery from surgery has been remarkable and I was glad to be able to send him home to his family.”

“He’s super lucky,” he said. “I told him he should go play the lottery.”

Harper’s wife, Janice, said she’s really glad to have her husband home safe.

“It was a roller-coaster couple of weeks. First the birth of our grandson, then the agony of seeing my husband in the hospital bed,” she said. “He’s going to be a great grandpa, and I’m glad he’s going to be around to see his grandson grow up.”

Harper spent a week in the hospital before he got to come home. Now, he’s taking it easy at his house, and will be going to therapy to continue to regain his strength.

As for the lottery, Harper said, “I’ve already won the lottery. I’m alive.”

 

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