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article imageBullet in heart removed after 39 years

By malan     Apr 17, 2007 in Health
Surgeons remove bullet from heart of 60 year old patient that had been there for almost 40 years.
Last week surgeons operated on Le Dinh Hung, a 60 year old a former Vietnamese soldier who was shot by U.S. troops 39 years ago to remove the bullet that was lodged his in heart that somehow did not kill him. The bullet was inflicted during a 1968 battle in Quang Tri province near an area that separated North and South Vietnam.
A year after he was shot doctors attempted to removed the bullet but were unable to get it and Hung has lived in pain from the wound ever since.
It took doctors at a Hanoi hospital 3 hours to remove the 39 year old, 2.5cm bullet from inside his heart. They said the bullet passed through Mr Hung's stomach, damaged his cardiac valve and lodged at the back of his heart. Hung's damaged heart valve was removed and replaced with an artificial one.
It is the strangest case that I have ever seen. Normally a person with a bullet in his heart would die immediately if they didn't have surgery right away' said baffled surgeons after the operation was complete.
Hung says his chest is feeling much better now and that he "was very lucky to survive."
I'd say. This ex-military man took a bullet to the heart and lived. That's one tough (or lucky) cookie.
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