For most people, getting attacked by a shark would be one of the worst things that could happen to them; but for Eugene Finney, it was actually one of the best. That’s because his shark bite ended up saving his life.
Eugene Finney was on holiday with his family in California when he was attacked by a shark, leaving him bruised and battered. But the traumatic event actually saved his life.
Finney, aged 39, was swimming out to a break in the ocean with his daughter, when suddenly the pair were struck by something.
“As we started surfacing, something struck me from behind. It hit me dead centre in the top of my back, and it knocked us deep down, further into the water… I started swimming to get us to the surface…I was starting to get short of breath,” Finney told CBS.
“It was pretty jarring. It kind of gave me an instant whiplash,” he says.
Eugene Finney and his family. (Image via CBS)
Focusing on getting his daughter above the water, Finney didn’t actually see the shark, or know what it was that hit him.
“I was really dazed…I wasn’t sure why I was bleeding, and we went back up to our spot on the beach. It was hurting pretty badly… when we came back from the showers, my girlfriend and my son were at the water’s edge, and everyone had been pulled out of the water because they had sighted some sharks,” Finney says.
That night he started having serious chest and back pain. After flying back to Boston, the pain got a lot worse and he went straight to emergency. After a series of X-rays and tests, doctors found that the pain was caused by interior bruising from the force of the hit.
But there was also an incidental find – a tumour on his right kidney.
“When I was in the emergency room, and they said, ‘this is most likely cancerous’, that wasn’t easy to hear. It was pretty emotional for me. That first night, my girlfriend and I cried ourselves to sleep over it.” Finney says.
“If this didn’t happen with the shark, causing me to go in with this chest pain, I would have never known about this cancer,” Finney says.
“I feel fortunate. I really feel like I’ve gotten a second chance at life and I’m not going to blow it.”
After having 20 per cent of his kidney removed, Finney no longer has any signs of cancer in his body.
Have you ever something bad happen that incidentally turned into a huge positive?