She was saved by silicon.
Researchers detailed how a silicone breast implant deflected the bullet from nipping the 30-year-old woman’s vital organs in a new study published in the SAGE medical journal.
“The implant caused the change in the trajectory of the bullet,” surgeon Giancarlo McEvenue, a co-author of the study, told CNN.
“The bullet wound entry was on the left breast, but the rib fracture was on the right side. The bullet entered the skin on the left side first, and then ricocheted across her sternum into the right breast and broke her rib on the right side,” he explained.
The shooting took place in 2018 in Toronto. It was one of a handful of documented instances in medical journals where breast implants have saved a person’s life — and the first instance where a silicone implant had actually changed the trajectory of a bullet, according to the authors.
There are two types of breast implants approved in the United States. Both have a silicone outer shell, but one is filled with saline while the other type is filled with a silicone gel.
One prior study showed how a saline implement had saved someone by slowing a bullet’s speed, while a second study details how a silicon implant stopped a shotgun pellet.
Details of the shooting are not clear, but the victim managed to walk herself to the hospital to the disbelief of caregivers.
“She was talking — the trauma team was in disbelief at how well she was,” McEvenue told the outlet.
The victim suffered broken ribs and broken implants, but, amazingly, was fine otherwise.
“On the left-hand side is the heart and lungs — if the bullet would have gone into the chest, she would have had a much more serious, possibly life-threatening injury,” McEvenue added.