Doctors in Arizona got surprised to find that there was a worm in the brain of a Phoenix-area woman they were operating to remove what they thought was a tumour.
A neurosurgeon called Dr. Peter Nakaji has revealed that Rosemary Alvarez had started experiencing numbness in her arm and blurred vision, but everything came up clear when she had a cat scan.
The doctor says that it was when doctors took a closer look at an MRI that they discovered something very disturbing.
"Once we saw the MRI we realized this is something not good. It's something down in her brain stem which is as deep in the brain as you can be," FOXPhoenix.com quoted Dr. Nakaji as telling told the news station.
He revealed that he and his colleages wheeled Alvarez into surgery expecting to remove a tumour, but they uncovered a worm instead.
Nakaji can be heard chuckling after making the discovery in a video of the surgery.
"I'm sure this is a very strange response for the people in the operating room. But because I was so pleased to know that it wasn't going to be something terrible," he said.
The worm has been removed from Alvarez's brain, and the surgeons believe that the woman will not have any lingering health problems.
The doctors are uncertain as to from where Alvarez would have picked up the worm.
However, they pointed out that worms could come from eating undercooked pork or spread by people who did not wash their hands after using the bathroom.
"It only takes one person who is spreading it constantly to get a lot of people exposed and some of those people are going to go on to develop this problem," Nakaji said.
The currently healthy Alvarez has resumed normal activities like playing ball with family in her backyard, and she hopes people learn a lesson from her story.
"Wash your hands, wash your hands," she said.