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Featured Image Credit: Quest Red
*WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES AND FOOTAGE*
A woman had a bullet removed from her back 15 years after being shot as a schoolgirl. Watch here:
Erica Miles was at high school when she found herself at the centre of a terrifying situation - which could have turned out much worse.
"Back in 2005, when I was in high school, after a football game my friends and I were waiting on our rides, and we end up being innocent bystanders caught in the middle of two groups of people shooting at each other," she recalled on new medical documentary series Stuck.
"I ended up getting shot in the back, I felt the burning sensation.
"They said it was too close to my spine at the time and that they didn't want to take it out."
Over the years since, the nursing assistant learnt to live with the bullet inside her, almost forgetting it was there.
She said: "I never felt it moving throughout the years in my back. I never thought about it, it never bothered me."
But one night, her horrific experience 15 years ago bubbled up to the surface quite literally, as she felt the bullet under her skin.
"I knew that's what it was," she said.
"I was actually scared because I knew it shouldn't have been in that place; it was in the top portion of my back, and it moved down to the lower portion."
While it might seem strange that the bullet was left there so long, her surgeon Dr George Crawford explained that this is common practice.
He said: "People get shot all the time and we never remove bullets. That's kind of a TV thing; we leave all bullets in unless they are stuck in a vessel or a joint.
"The reason why is that you usually will cause a bigger problem going in to get it."
He continued: "The body will get rid of it on its own the majority of the time.
"The problem is when it gets to the surface that's when it starts to cause pain. In her [Erica], this started causing a significant amount of pain, so we decided to take it out."
In the show, Dr Crawford can be seen making an incision in Erica's back before plucking out the back-squatting bullet with forceps.
Thankfully, the procedure was a success, and Erica can now rest easy at night knowing that her traumatic high school experience is behind her.
She said: "After the surgery, the recovery was fine. I didn't have any issues or concerns. I healed like normal. I was OK.
"I am so grateful to Dr Crawford; I am just glad that I wasn't in any pain, and I was glad that the bullet was out of my back."
Stuck airs weekly at 10pm each Tuesday on Quest Red, and can be streamed on discovery+.