Thursday, February 14, 2008

70yr old bullet removed

Doctors have extracted a bullet from an 88-year-old man that has been lodged inside his shoulder since the Spanish Civil War - over 70 years ago. Faustino Olivera proudly held up the rusty, deformed bit of metal -- its tip curved and pointy -- in video footage that aired Tuesday on the Web site of radio station Cadena Ser.

Olivera spent most of his life oblivious to the bullet that lodged in his left shoulder blade when he was shot with a rifle in 1938 while fighting for the Nationalist forces of Gen. Francisco Franco.

Doctors operated on him at the time but found no bullet.

“I had my suspicions because there was only one hole, the entry wound, but no exit wound,” Olivera said. “I knew I had been wounded.”

Two years ago Olivera saw a doctor because of sharp pains in his left side. X-rays detected the bullet, and physicians said it was causing an infection and inflammation.

Doctors left the bullet because it was close to an artery, however. Since then, Olivera had gone to the hospital every few months to have fluid drained.

But last Wednesday, Olivera was rushed to a hospital in the town of Barbastro because he had a huge bulge on his side and doctors delicately extracted the bullet once and for all.

Olivera said he gave the bullet to his nephew as a souvenir.

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