WATCH: Surgeons Remove Live Parasite from Man’s Brain

A 26-year-old man from Napa, California is lucky to be alive, after surgeons had to perform emergency brain surgery. Luis Ortiz was visiting his mother when he suddenly fell ill with a terrible headache. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he was given a brain scan.

Shocked doctors found a tapeworm in his brain, and estimated that Ortiz had only 30 minutes to live unless they took immediate action.

They performed the emergency operation to extract the parasite from his brain—which was lodged inside a cyst. Apparently the cyst had begun to block circulation in Ortiz’s brain, which caused the headaches and would have ended his life if he hadn’t sought medical help.

Even creepier, the tapeworm was still alive.

“The doctor pulled it out and he said it was still wiggling,” said Ortiz. “Like, what are the odds that I’d get a parasite in my head?”

Apparently doctors said that the parasite could have gotten inside his head through uncooked pork, swimming in a river or untreated water, or if he had recently visited a third world country.

“I haven’t done any of that recently,” said Ortiz. “But I don’t know how long that worm was in my head for.”

Get the full report in the video below.