That Time a Shark Attack Saved a Man’s Life

A close encounter with a shark led to the discovery of something worse.

Eugene Finney had one hell of a vacation.

During a family vacation to southern California, the Fitchburg, Massachusetts native suffered what initially seemed like minor injuries in a shark attack. He emerged from the waters off Huntington Beach a little bloodied from a gash in his back and in pain, but apparently shrugged it off. The pain persisted, and Finney finally saw a physician once he had returned home.

Finney, a father of two, learned the attack had caused “interior bruising of the thoracic cavity due to blunt force trauma,” he told CBS Boston. The same exam revealed something that had nothing to do with his shark attack — doctors “discovered a growth, or a tumor, on my right kidney about the size of a walnut,” Finney said. 

The tumor on Finney’s kidney was cancerous. 

CBS Boston reported Finney had “minimally invasive robotic surgery” in September that removed the growth and his “prognosis is great.” 

Finney really said it best in his interview with the CBS affiliate: “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.” 

We’re glad Finney is doing well and blown away that a hungry shark helped him catch his cancer at an early stage, but we just want to put this out there for the record: cancer-sniffing sharks seem like a bad idea. 

Photos by Albert Kok/Wikimedia