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Man survives 5-inch nail in head

The nail penetrated 5 inches into Turner's head.  

PHOENIX, Arizona (CNN) -- Construction worker Christian Turner left the hospital Tuesday with evidence that he got nailed on the job. X-rays show the nail penetrating 5 inches into his head.

Last week's freak accident could have caused serious damaged or killed him, his surgeon said, had the nail entered his cheek 1 centimeter farther in any direction.

"The nail missed hitting any of his eye, his mouth, his nose, his ear or his spine," said Dr. Kristine Reeser. "Or his brain."

Turner feels his luck is so good that he should have bought a ticket to last week's huge lottery drawing.

He didn't feel so lucky when he saw the nail coming toward him at the construction site of a swimming pool at a Phoenix home.

"I was running a Bobcat at the time and put pressure on the nylon string that are attached to layout nails like this one," he said as he held up the nail that had been removed from his cheek.

A man makes an extraordinary recovery after a nail became lodged in his skull. KTVK's Gina Maravilla reports (August 27)

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"From about 35 feet from across the yard, one came out of the ground under pressure and came straight at me," he said. "I did see it and turned towards it and that's when it caught me."

Turner spent five days in the hospital and will spend another week at home recuperating.

Although the construction worker from Alabama plans to keep the X-rays to illustrate his amazing story, the nail that got him is going into the trash.

-- Reporter Gina Maravilla of CNN's Phoenix affiliate KTVK contributed to this report.

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