When Luis Ortiz went to the doctor with a headache he was confronted with some rather unsettling news.
Having been crippled by what he described as the worst headache of his life, Ortiz, who is from California, went to his local hospital where he was shockingly told that he had a tapeworm larva embedded in his brain and that he only had 30 minutes left to live.
He was immediately admitted for an emergency operation and fortunately, after a bit of effort, surgeons were able to remove the invader from the inside of his head.
Around 1,000 patients in the United States are hospitalized each year with this most unpleasant of afflictions which can occur if a person swallows microscopic eggs found in contaminated water.
Once hatched the tiny larvae can make their way to the brain and block off the circulation.
“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,” said Ortiz.