The brain has an incredibly complex arrangement of tens of billions of neurons - each interacting with up to 10,000 others via synapses – along with a number of other cell types, thought to support & nurture them. Some think that the mind - the essence of you - resides in this "meat" alone. That there is nothing more. So it seems extraordinary that someone can survive such a traumatic injury as firing a 3.75 inch (7.62cm) nail from a nail gun straight into their own head.
The relationship between the brain and the mind is still not agreed upon - but this injury must've scythed through a considerable part of the inter-connected network of neuronal cells. Surely, that would have to affect the function of the neurons of the brain, wouldn't it?
So how did the guy survive? And how come his mind was apparently little affected? Perhaps such cases provide circumstantial evidence that "the Mind" is not just the interconnected neurons of the Brain?
Here are some excerpts from the reports below.
"Dante Autullo thought his doctors were joking, and that he had merely cut himself with a nail gun while building a shed. But they assured him that the X-ray was real: a nail was lodged in the middle of his brain.
Mr Autullo, from Chicago, was recovering on Friday after undergoing surgery at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where doctors removed the 3.75-inch (7.62cm) nail, according to agency reports.
Mr Autullo, who lives in Orland Park, said that he was building a shed on Tuesday and was using the nail gun above his head when he fired it. With nothing to indicate that a nail hadn't simply whizzed by his head, his long-time companion, Gail Glaenzer, cleaned the wound with peroxide ... he continued working. "I thought it went past my ear."
While there are pain-sensitive nerves on a person's skull, there aren't any within the brain itself. That's why he would have felt the nail strike the skull, but he wouldn't have felt it penetrate the brain."
"Doctors told Mr Autullo and Miss Glaenzer that the nail came within millimetres of the part of the brain that controls motor function, and he was rushed by ambulance to the other hospital for more specialised care.
"He feels good. He moved all his limbs, he's talking normal, he remembers everything," Miss Glaenzer said. "It's amazing, a miracle."
Neurosurgeon Leslie Schaffer acknowledged that Mr Autullo's case was unusual, but not extremely rare. The surgeon said that having a nail penetrate the skull is not like being shot in the head, noting that a bullet would break into multiple pieces.
"This [the nail] is thinner, with a small trajectory, and pointed at the end," he said. "The bone doesn't fracture much because the nail has a small tip."