28-year-old Darco Sangermano was hit in his head by the stray .22 calibre bullet while wandering with his girlfriend through the city of Naples notorious for its rowdy New Year celebrations.
The bullet went through the right side of his head, behind his eye socket and lodged in his nasal passage but miraculously did no serious damage. Bleeding heavily, he was taken to hospital in an ambulance shortly after midnight, but while waiting to be seen by doctors he sneezed and the bullet shot out of his right nostril, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.
Sangermano, a craftsman from Turin, returned to his hometown after being released from hospital. "The route of the bullet broke his temporal bone, near his temple, and this slowed down the bullet which grazed his eyeball without hitting it directly," Dr Guglielmo Ramieri of the hospital was quoted as telling the 'Gente' magazine.
Surgeons operated on the eye, removing splinters of bone that the bullet left in its wake. "The operation lasted several hours but he is fine. The doctors agree that he will not lose the use of his eye, even if for now his sight is blurry," Sangermano's uncle Vito was quoted as saying.
In the next few weeks, Sangermano will undergo laser surgery to repair damage to his retina and is expected to make a full recovery, the report said.