Saturday, 27 Nov 2021

Roofer forced to saw own boot off after firing nail gun through his entire foot

A roofer was forced to cut off his own boot after he shot a nail gun through his foot and out the other side.

Rob Owen, 36, was working two floors up on September 7, when he tripped and leaned forward to break his fall, tapping the gun off his boot and triggering the release of a 2.5in nail straight into the big toe on his left foot.

The dad-of-two proceeded to hobble down the 20ft tall scaffolding and off to hospital, but doctors couldn't do an x-ray due to his metal tipped boot.

After waiting for five hours, the 36-year-old grabbed the Stanley knife from his pocket and cut his boot, to reveal his toe pinned to the sole of his boot.

Medics couldn't pull it out because of rivets along the nail, so had to cut the head off and push it through the bottom of his foot.

The nail had gone through the bone, but Rob, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, said: "I was in shock. The adrenaline was really pumping.

"It all happened so quickly – in a split second. I didn't realise at first, then I saw the nail sticking out the top of my boot.

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"I'm just so lucky. It was a clean hole right through the bone in my toe, so there was no bleeding. Otherwise I could have bled to death in my boot.

"It was almost comical seeing this boot sole pinned to my foot, like something out of a joke shop. It will be a great story to tell, especially if I start limping when I’m 50."

Rob, a roofer for nearly 20 years, screamed when he shot himself, which alerted a colleague who drove him five miles to Wythenshawe hospital, in Manchester.

The dad had to take five weeks off work and said: "I’ll be more cautious when I’m using a nail gun now. If one was to hit you in the head you’d be dead."

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