If surgeons had removed the bullet, the young man would have died instantly
When machine-gunner Stepan Bobrov came to his senses in a field hospital after a fierce battle, military doctors told the young man that he had suffered a very serious wound, which they virtually regarded as mortal at first. Stepan was wounded in the heart in December of 1943. The school graduate was sent to wage war against Nazis to the Second Ukrainian Front.
”I remember that it was a battle for a Ukrainian village. I was running with my machine gun, when I suddenly saw a Nazi sniper aiming his gun at me from a house roof. After that I only remember myself falling down to the ground, and that was all,” Stepan Bobrov said.
The young man recovered in a field hospital only 12 days after the injury. A surgeon surprised Stepan only three months later: the doctor told him that he had been wounded directly in the heart. The bullet went into the man's throat, plunged into the body between the collar-bones, severed lungs and stuck in the pericardial pleura.
When the wounded soldier wondered if doctors were going to take the bullet out of his heart, the surgeon answered that he would have to continue his life with it. “If we take it out, you will die instantly. Now you will need to eat a lot, in order to accumulate fat around the bullet,” the doctor said.
As soon as Stepan recovered from the wound, he returned to the front at once. Luckily, his other battle wounds were a lot less serious. Another outstanding incident happened with Stepan later, when a shell hit a small house, in which a group of Soviet soldiers were spending the night. Stepan Bobrov was the only serviceman of the group to survive the blast.
War veteran Stepan Bobrov has been living with the bullet in the heart for more than 60 years now. The bullet was causing problems to the man in airports only, when metal detectors reacted to it. Mr. Bobrov had to carry the X-ray picture of his chest to show it to suspicious airport officers.
Stepan Bobrov is 80 years old now. In a year the elderly man plans to celebrate the diamond wedding with his wife Anastasia.
On the KP photo: Stepan Bobrov and the X-ray picture of his heart