Man accidentally shoots 3.5 inch nail into brain, plows snow after

stroke, doctor, brain, scan, istockphoto, 4x3
stroke, doctor, brain, scan, istockphoto, 4x3

(CBS) An Illinois man reportedly shot a 3.5 inch nail through his skull and into his brain - and didn't even realize it for more than a day.

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Thirty-two-year-old Dante Autullo of Orland Park, Ill., was on a ladder in his garage working on a project when he fired off a few nails, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The last nail caused the nail gun to recoil towards Autullo's head, and with his finger still on the trigger, another nail shot off.

Autullo thought the nail whizzed by his ear and assumed the gash on his head was caused by the gun recoiling. He carried out the rest of the day walking and talking normally - and even plowing snow for his side job.

Autullo went to work the next day like nothing happened and came home and took a nap. But when he woke up he felt nauseous, according to the Sun-Times. That's when his fiancee Gail Glaenzer - who has four children with him - made him go to the hospital.

Doctors gave Autullo an X-ray, which showed that the nail was a mere millimeters from the portion of the brain that controls all motor functions (click here to see a picture).

Autullo is recovering after a four-hour surgery on Thursday to have the nail removed, the Associated Press reported.

"All things considered, he's doing 100 percent," Glaenzer told the Chicago Tribune. "I can't wrap my brain around the fact he had a nail in his."

According to the Tribune, the operation removed the nail and replaced a portion of the skull with a titanium plate and patch of mesh. He is recovering at the hospital.

"It's a miracle," Glaenzer told the Sun-Times . "Un-freaking-believable."