Albanian lived for 12 years unaware of bullet in her cheek

An Albanian woman was hit by a stray bullet 12 years ago during civil strife. The doctor incorrectly thought it passed through her cheek and it was only discovered last week. The BBC reports:

But doctors told her the bullet passed straight through her cheek and simply patched up her wound.

The truth was discovered a week ago when she collapsed in pain, and the 2.8cm-long bullet was eventually found.

“I was covered in blood and my husband took me to casualty where there were many people injured,” she told Albania’s Ata news agency of the 1997 incident.

“But the doctor told me the bullet had come out and cleaned the wound.

“The unique thing about this case is not the operation, but the fact she kept it unknowingly for 12 years in her head,” the surgeon told Reuters news agency.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • MrSatyre

    That’s one of the strangest articles I’ve ever read. It’s completely disjointed, and makes no explanation of why she suddenly collapsed in pain, and how that was related to the discovery of the bullet in her cheek.

    Was it in her brain, or her nasal cavity behind her cheek (assuming they are referring to the cheekbone area under the eye socket)? A neurosurgeon is mentioned, but nothing about why he was brought in in the first place, what he found or where he found it, or even whether or not the bullet was the cause of her pain and subsequent collapse. Common sense tells us it was the culprit, but c’mon! A little proofreading and editing BBC!

  • cornelius

    MrSayre, my toughts exactly. My guess is that it lodged in her cheek bone, but a sinus cavity makes sence as well. There was a story two or three years ago about a carpenter in Colorado who had an accident with a nail-gun. A nail entered his brain through his mouth. The nail went undiscoverd for a week. You can read about it here – At least it didn’t take our American doctors a whole year to find the projectile!

  • MrSatyre

    I had a car door embedded in my skull for nine months and until someone finally noticed. I couldn’t figure out why it was so hard for me to walk through doors or lie down to sleep. The doctor said it was a common injury and often misdiagnosed.

  • Cornelius

    I hate it when that happens.

  • Eric

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