Doctors in Canada have reported a truly bizarre case, which they believe is the first of its kind, in which a woman’s breast implants saved her life by stopping a bullet headed straight for her heart.
The surreal incident took place in Ontario, Canada and is the subject of an ongoing investigation in which neither the shooter, nor the firearm used were ever found.
The 30-year-old woman was reportedly on a night out when she suddenly felt a sharp pain and intense heat in her chest. She looked down in horror and discovered she was bleeding so she rushed to the emergency room of a local hospital.
“The patient reported walking down [the]street and feeling heat and pain in her left chest, looking down and seeing blood,” surgeon Giancarlo McEvenue recalled.
The medical team discovered a single entry wound in the upper part of her left breast; scorch marks around the wound indicated the woman was shot at close range. The bullet lodged under her right breast, having entered at the left breast, fracturing a rib in the process, before coming to a stop on the right side of her chest cavity.
Her condition stabilized in hospital and CT scans revealed lung damage but no further damage within the lungs themselves. Signs of debris and air pockets showed the bullet had indeed passed through both breast implants. Surgeons later removed both implants and the 0.40 caliber copper-jacketed bullet.
Following a reconstruction of the bullet’s trajectory through the woman’s chest, the medical team concluded that it was heading towards her heart had it not been for the left implant.
“This implant overlies the heart and intrathoracic cavity and therefore likely saved the women’s life,” the authors wrote.
“The unfortunate story has a happy ending in that the patient only suffered minor injuries and made a complete recovery,” McEvenue said.
There are reportedly four other cases in medical literature of breast implants at least partially deflecting a bullet, two of which were deemed as likely lifesaving. However, the medical team maintains that this is the first case where it has been definitively shown through analysis and recreation that the breast implant and no other factor saved a life.
It is unknown whether the woman replaced her breast implants after the suggested six-month recovery period.
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