A California Man Almost Died because of a Tapeworm Larva Living in His Brain

Credit: CBS / KPIX / CBS News / YouTube

Before his senior year at San Francisco State University, Luis Ortiz was hospitalized for a severe headache and nausea. Next thing he knew, he was in emergency surgery. WARNING: You *will not* be able to unsee this.

Luis Ortiz is a 26-year-old man from Napa, California.

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Credit: CBS / KPIX / CBS News / YouTube

Seems like a normal guy, right? But there is one small thing about this dude.

He once had a tapeworm larva living in his brain.

Credit: AT&T / Butcher_Of_Hope / Reddit


Yeah. You read that right. A TAPEWORM.

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Credit: CBS / KPIX / CBS News / YouTube

How’d it get there? Doctors could only think of three things: eating undercooked pork, swimming in a river, or visiting a third-world country. Luis Ortiz said he had not done any of those things recently. ?

READ: A Spider Eating Birds Is the Least Scary of These Latin American Bugs

The thing burrowed into a cyst in his brain and started blocking blood flow.

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Credit: CBS / KPIX / CBS News / YouTube

It caused him to have a severe headache and nausea before slipping into a coma when he got to the hospital.

Luis Ortiz had NO idea there was something just chilling in his brain.

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Credit: CBS / KPIX / CBS News / YouTube

“I was shocked,” Ortiz told CBS San Francisco. “I just couldn’t believe something like that would happen to me. I didn’t know there was a parasite in my head trying to ruin my life.”

Dude had 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital to have surgery or he’d be dead.

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Credit: CBS / KPIX / CBS News / YouTube

Talk about a dramatic time.

*Warning* Here is an example of a brain tapeworm removal.

Credit: mynewsblog / YouTube


Wait? I had a headache this morning…

Credit: Game of Thrones / HBO / bacord18 / Reddit

*packs up life and drives to hospital*

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Luckily, doctors removed the tapeworm without incident.

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Credit: CBS / KPIX / CBS News / YouTube

All that remains of the tapeworm is some memory loss and a small scar on his forehead.

Luis Ortiz has no idea how the tapeworm got there, but he is happy the ordeal is over.

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Credit: CBS / KPIX / CBS News / YouTube

“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,” Luis Ortiz told CBS.

Share this story with your friends so you can be a little more thankful today.

Why This Transgender Mexicana Picked This Biblical Name


Why This Transgender Mexicana Picked This Biblical Name

On a U.S. Navy base located in Panama, a long awaited gift was born to a sailor and his wife. Little did they know he had the body of a healthy baby boy but the spirit, soul, and heart of a baby girl.


My childhood was typical for a male — as in playing with action figures, fishing for bass, and reciting dinosaur names aloud. At heart, my sisters’ dolls were all I coveted. The baby ones especially. A part of my childhood was spent thinking I’d have a dolly one day; that I would have my own big, Mexican family. During mass, I’d pray God would turn me into a good mother someday.

I was 21 — almost done with college, done with rehab, done with therapy — when I finally realized how hard I had let my life become. A lot of people ask me “When did you know?” It had been engrained in me as far back as I can remember, but I couldn’t verbalize it. It was impossible. Just like you fall in love or lose someone, some things are just beyond your control.


Over the last few years it really dawned on me, I wasn’t gay or a cross-dresser or a drag queen. I realized I was pretending to be male more than I was pretending to be female. I was simply a woman trying to live my life.

People now know me as Leia. When it comes to pronunciation I blurt out the phrase, “Like the Princess!” In Biblical terms the name means “Flower of God”…


No one can take Roman Catholicism away from me. I grew up with crosses above my bed, blessings before everything (even taquitos after school), and falling asleep with rosary beads still in hand. I believe God gives us only what we can handle. He gave me a lot because He knew he made me with a little more armor than the rest. No offense.

It’s been just shy of a year since I made the decision to let the woman I am bleed out. My eyebrows and hair are a black-brown, my lips full, and my eyelids layered in black and browns. I’m biracial, a blend of Mexico City and Bavaria. The German tends to shine brighter with my green eyes and light complexion, but I always joked my deep set eyes, distinct nose, and high cheek bones were that of an Aztec princess’.

Share the story of this powerful woman by clicking the share button below! 

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