http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6560855.stm Doctors have removed a bullet from the heart of a Vietnamese soldier 39 years after he was shot by US troops. Le Dinh Hung, 60, is said to be recovering well after surgery in Hanoi to remove the 2.5cm (1 inch) bullet and replace a damaged heart valve. Dr Nguyen Sinh Hien said it was the strangest case he had ever seen, while Mr Hung said he was "lucky to survive". The former communist soldier was shot during a battle in Quang Tri province in 1968, during the Vietnam War. Dr Hien added: "Normally a person with a bullet in his heart would die immediately if they didn't have surgery right away." The operation lasted three hours and afterwards Mr Hung said the constant pain he had lived with for nearly four decades had eased. He said: "I was very lucky to survive. People believe in their fate and I do too." His daughter, Le Thi Mai, 33, visited her father in hospital on Sunday, and said: "The operation was even more successful than we had expected. When I spoke to him, he was very happy." A year after Mr Hung was shot, doctors tried unsuccessfully to remove the bullet, which had entered his body through his stomach. Doctors said the retired father-of-three would spend the next few days resting in the Hanoi Heart Hospital, before returning to his home in Ha Tay province.