A 26-year-old man was told by his doctor he had 30 minutes to live, after a brain scan revealed he had a tapeworm living in his brain.
“The doctor pulled it out and he said it was still wiggling, and I’m like ‘ugh, that doesn’t sound too good.’ “I stood up and then I threw up Like, what are the odds I’d get a parasite in my head?” Luis told CBS San Francisco.
“They told me it was uncooked pork or if I went swimming in the river or if I’ve been to a third world country, and I was like, ‘I haven’t done any of that recently.’ But I don’t know how long that worm was in my head for.”
The US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports larval cysts in the brain – neurocysticercosis – develop after a person swallows microscopic eggs passed in the faeces of a person who has an intestinal pork tapeworm.
Once inside the body, those eggs hatch and the worms can make their way to the brain. The CDC says approximately 1,000 people per year are hospitalised for neurocysticercosis and removal of the larvae.
Luis is still recovering after the surgery in August but he’s anxious to return to college for his senior year.
“It’s probably more gratifying to me to be living, because if I would have waited a little bit longer, then I probably wouldn’t be here right now,” he told CBS San Francisco.