A California woman is lucky to be alive after being shot in the chest by a gunman who opened fire at a Simi Valley dental office, the Los Angeles Times reports. Lydia Carranza, a worker at the office, was possibly saved by one of her silicone breast implants, which prevented the bullet from reaching any vital organs.
"Common sense would dictate that any time you have something that interrupts the velocity of the projectile, it would benefit the object it was trying to strike," Scott Reitz, a deadly-force expert not involved in the case, told the LA Times.
"She's just one lucky woman," said Dr. Ashkan Ghavami. "The bullet fragments were millimeters from her heart and her vital organs. Had she not had the implant, she might not be alive today."
Experts at the hospital where Carranza was treated, however, are skeptical.
"This is not a medical issue; it's a ballistic issue," said Kris Carraway, a spokeswoman for Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. "The emergency physician who treated the patient was not aware of the breast implant having any impact or whether or not it saved her life."
The gunman's estranged wife worked with Carranza in the dental office, and is believed to be have been his main target. She was killed in the attack. According to the LA Times, she had recently asked for a divorce.
Carranza is a mother of three and grandmother of two.