Delhi man remains unaware of bullet in spine for 15 hours after being shot
Suraj Prakash Sharma was shot and lost consciousness for some time. But he, his brother and even doctors didn’t know for the next 15 hours that the wound was caused by a bullet.health Updated: Jun 02, 2017 13:24 IST
A thunderclap-like sound broke the nightly silence and Suraj Prakash Sharma collapsed, bleeding profusely from the back of his skull.
The 26-year-old man, who makes furniture for a living, was shot and lost consciousness for some time. But he, his brother and even doctors didn’t know for the next 15 hours that the wound was caused by a bullet.
It was around midnight on Tuesday and the two brothers stepped out of their home in west Delhi’s Chandra Vihar to answer a call of nature. They were half-awake and urinating under a tree when the incident happened.
“We didn’t know what happened and took him to a nearby hospital, where doctors dressed his wound and asked us to come in the morning for an X-ray,” said Neeraj, his brother.
The brothers went home, but Suraj, seized by a severe headache, was in agony.
They returned to the hospital the next morning and got an X-ray done. The report showed an abnormality, but the doctors couldn’t catch the bullet hiding in the upper half of his spine.
“They asked us to go to a bigger hospital and we went to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital,” Neeraj said.
His brother was admitted to the Delhi government-run hospital and a CT-scan of the head was done.
The scan revealed a 1.5cm bullet in his C2 vertebra, the second uppermost vertebrae that connect the backbone with the skull.
A team of seven doctors in the hospital’s neurosurgery department removed the bullet after a four-hour surgery.
“The man is lucky … the bullet entered through the lower rear side of his skull, changed trajectory after hitting the bone and went down. It passed through critical areas that maintain blood pressure and respiratory functions, and got stuck right on the surface of the C2 vertebra,” said Subodh Kumar Gupta, head of neurosurgery at DDU, who led the surgical team.
Suraj was shifted to the intensive care unit after surgery and he is said to be responding to medication and recovering fast.
“We will have to wait for him to regain consciousness to check his cognitive function,” Gupta said.
The neurosurgeon repeated that Suraj’s luck “favoured him big time” as he could have “died on the spot or become paralyzed”.
“The impact was such that the bullet, which should have been cylindrical, turned almost flat,” Gupta said.
It was not known who fired the shot. The incident was reported to cops at Nihal Vihar police station and a case was filed.
Was it a stray bullet fired by someone testing a weapon in a crowded neighbourhood at night? Did someone shoot intentionally at Suraj? Investigation could possibly trace the bullet to the gun.