Medical miracle! Sexagenarian cheats death even after being shot in the neck

Govindappa’s miraculous escape from a bullet injury may well be a medical marvel.

Published: 18th August 2016 03:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2016 11:40 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: Sixty-eight-year-old Govindappa, who was accidentally shot by a two-and-a-half-year old toddler on Monday, is recovering well at Sparsh Hospital in Yeshwanthpur. The tale of his escape from death is nothing short of a miracle.

The incident happened at the residence of former BJP corporator K Muniraju at Chokkasandra in Peenya on Monday.

Capture.JPGGovindappa was immediately rushed to Premier Sanjeevini Hospital in Chokkasandra, Peenya. Later, he was brought to Sparsh Hospital. By the time he reached Sparsh, it was more than an hour since he was shot.

Usually, anyone with such grievous injury would bleed to death. But, surprisingly, there wasn’t much bleeding in Govindappa’s case, said the doctors who treated him at Sparsh Hospital.

Dr Ravikiran S J, consultant general surgeon at Sparsh and one of the surgeons who operated on Govindappa, said, “The bullet entered above the sternum (breastbone) and exited from the back of the neck. Since there was a leak in the trachea (windpipe), and the air was escaping from the hole, that was plugged first. There was no remnant of the bullet. No major vessels were damaged. The windpipe is packed with crucial vessels and nerves. In the worst case, the bullet could have hit the carotid vessels (that supplies oxegenated blood to the head and neck). But, they weren’t damaged. Even the spinal cord wasn’t damaged.”

“Also, he could have been quadriplegic (paralysed), but had a narrow escape,” he added.

Govindappa was conscious and responsive when he was brought to the hospital. Post surgery, till Tuesday, he was intubated. Now, he can talk and eat normally, the doctors added.

However, all is not well. His brachial plexus has been injured. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that sends signals from spine to shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched,compressed or torn from the spinal cord.

At the moment, the patient cannot lift his hand or flex his elbow, which the doctors hope he will be able to in the next four to six weeks.

Dr Bharath S P, consultant cosmetic and plastic surgeon, who also operated on Govindappa, said, “A few nerves on the upper part of his brachial plexus have been injured. Praxia (performance of movements) is affected. It should heal with time or we will have to perform more surgeries.” “He can be discharged in two days. Also, he can be treated as an outpatient. He will definitely need physiotherapy,” the surgeon added.

The other surgeons who operated on Govindappa include Sreedhara V and Ravi Kiran.

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