Gunshot causes death? Not exactly, says study on 45-year-old victim

A new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology Clinical Challenge has explained the miracle.

X-ray of human brain
Representational picture Reuters

What will happen if a person gets hit by a bullet? Obviously death, right? But the miracle happened with a man, who survived a gunshot to his head, without losing his eyesight. A new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology Clinical Challenge has explained the rare case.

According to the study, the 45-year-old man was shot with a 22-calibre pistol. Although the bullet passed through a wooden door before entering the victim's right orbit, it hit the corner of the eye and damaged the tear ducts.

Scientists have claimed that even though the bullet wounded victim's one eye, the examinations revealed that his pupil of the injured eye is responding to light normally. But the bullet is still inside his head, which caused severe pain, as described by the injured man.

Reza Vagefi, a surgeon and an associate professor of ophthalmology at US's UCSF School of Medicine told Newsweek, "This case is rare in that the bullet lodged in the orbit and did not pass into the intracranial cavity."

"Also just as surprising, and lucky for the patient, the eye remained intact and did not rupture. This is not typical and very rare for a bullet to not harm the eye," Vagefi further added.

The JAMA Network
X-Ray reports of the victim The JAMA Network

The study suggested that out of all patients with similar cases, there is only five percent of people who have faced long-term complications for having a metallic object left inside their eye orbit.

According to the examiners, since the wooden door came in-between the bullet and victim's eye, the velocity of the bullet became slowed down and could not cause any massive damage to the eye and its surrounding tissues.

On the other hand, there are reports in 2011 about a man from Texas, named Jim Saunders, who survived with a bullet in his brain for over 30-years. It was a 25-calibre bullet which was lodged three inches deep, in-between two optical nerves and two halves of Jim's brain. He became virtually blind and lost the ability to smell anything but doctors did not go for an operation to remove the bullet, as it was a too risky.