Man recovering after freak lawn-mowing accident in Baytown


It began as a typical day in Baytown for Patrick Smith. He was doing chores around the house and then in an instant, it turned into a life-threatening situation.

Smith is retired Army. He served 20 years in the military.

"He had survived an IED explosion, been shot multiple times, stabbed, all in the military," said Patrick's wife Jessica.

They live in a new neighborhood in Baytown. The land adjacent to their home is still undeveloped. Wednesday evening, Patrick was out cutting the tall weeds there when something went horribly wrong.

He looked up and immediately saw something metal sticking out of his chest. Only later did he learn it was nail two inches long, presumably long forgotten by construction crews.

Jessica says he ran inside and showed her the wound in the upper right portion of his chest.

"When he coughed, it went all the way in," she said.

They called 911. Patrick was a combat medic and his wife had medical training, too, so they patched up the wound as best they could. Only after Patrick was rushed by Life Flight to the hospital did doctors surgically remove the nail.

"If it had been a little further to the left, he might not be here," said Jessica.

They've started to joke about him almost taking his own life with a lawnmower and nail, after escaping so many other serious injuries on the battlefield. Life, Jessica says, is sometimes filled with irony like that.

Patrick is being treated at Memorial Hermann Hospital. We spoke to him briefly. He was in good spirits, still in pain, but so thankful to still be alive.

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