A shark attack saved me from dying of cancer

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A shark attack ended up saving a man’s life.

In July 2015, Eugene Finney was swimming off Huntington Beach, Calif., when he felt something smash his back, The Washington Post reported.

“I would say it’s like being hit by a ton of bricks, or like being whiplashed from a car, but it’s not that,” Finney told the newspaper. “I’ve never been hit like this before.”

It wasn’t until he got out of the water and his daughter asked him why he was bleeding that Finney noticed a cut on his back about a foot long.

His son and his girlfriend, who were on land the whole time, mentioned seeing shark fins in the water. The next day, a report came of a surfer being hit by a great white shark. It was then that he realized that this shark or another had probably hit him.

Finney cut himself after a shark rammed his back.
Eugene Finney

But shortly after his close call with the ocean’s deadliest predator, Finney was struggling to breathe and suffering from chest pains. He went to the emergency room.

A CT scan revealed a small cancerous tumor on her right kidney. Finney, then 39, was told he had a good chance of recovering from the disease due to its early detection and its size. Surgeons then removed the mass and around 20% of Finney’s kidney with it.

The incident was “a sign from Mother Nature” that landed him in the hospital, he told The Washington Post.

“Otherwise, I never would have gotten in, and they wouldn’t have caught it… The only real way I would have found out was that the tumor was getting so big it was metastasizing and spreading,” he said.

Finney said if he had waited, he probably wouldn’t have known it was cancer until it was stage 4.

“I would have started losing weight and getting sick and by then it would have been too late. If I could find that shark and give it a hug, I would,” he said.

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