This extraordinary tale of resilience and hope showcases the incredible journey of a Yemeni man living with a bullet in his head for 18 years, finally finding relief through groundbreaking surgery in Bengaluru.
In a remarkable turn of events, a 29-year-old Yemeni man, referred to as Saleh (name changed), recently underwent life-changing surgery in Bengaluru to remove a 3-cm-long bullet embedded in his head for almost two decades.
Saleh, a father of two, endured years of debilitating pain and deafness after an unfortunate incident at the age of 10. While innocently returning home from a local shop in Yemen, he was caught in the crossfire of a clash between rival groups. Severely injured and bleeding profusely, Saleh was quickly rushed to a hospital. Despite treatment, the medical team only cleaned the wound, leaving the bullet lodged deep inside his left temporal bone.
The bullet’s presence triggered chronic headaches and persistent ear discharges for Saleh. Living in a village with six brothers and three sisters, Saleh’s family worked on a farm cultivating various crops like onions, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, and carrots. Before the incident, Saleh actively assisted his father in farm chores and ran errands.
With the passage of time, the injury worsened, leading to repeated ear infections due to pus accumulation and subsequent headaches. Saleh’s life took a hopeful turn when, through friends, he discovered a hospital in Bengaluru renowned for complex surgeries. Fueled by optimism, he journeyed to the city seeking medical assistance, despite the challenging nature of his case.
The surgery posed significant risks due to the bullet’s location close to vital blood vessels. Dr. Rohit Udaya Prasad, lead consultant in ENT and cochlear implant surgery at Aster RV, highlighted the complexity of the operation. Utilizing innovative techniques such as contrast CT angiography and basic X-ray, the surgical team successfully dislodged the bullet from its intricate position.
Miraculously, the surgery alleviated Saleh’s pain, partially restored his hearing, and ceased the ear discharges. After the successful procedure, Saleh returned to Yemen, now on a path to recovery. Remarkably resilient, he is currently pursuing his education in English and French.
In a symbolic gesture, before departing Bengaluru, Saleh chose to leave behind the bullet to avoid airport complications, bidding farewell to an 18-year-long ordeal. His story stands as a testament to resilience and the remarkable advancements in medical science, offering hope and inspiration to many facing similar challenges.