Guy Thought He Had A Migraine – Nope, Just A Tapeworm In His Brain!

The next time you have a bad headache, remember this story. Luis Ortiz, a 26-year-old student from California thought he was suffering from severe headaches when in actuality, he had a live tapeworm moving around inside his brain!


Ortiz spent a month in pain from his constant headaches until one day he became disorientated and began vomiting. He was rushed to a hospital where his condition worsened and he lost consciousness.

Doctors at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center, in Napa Valley, used a brain scan to detect a tapeworm larva had wedged inside his brain and formed a cyst that was blocking the circulation of water. Surgery was performed immediately.


“We made a hole in skull bone over the eyebrow and drove the camera into the centre of the brain and fished out the cyst and the worm… The worm was still wiggling when we pulled it out.”

Once the doctors successfully removed the cyst from his brain, Ortiz was shown the tapeworm. “I was like, That came out of me? It looked pretty gross,” he said.
“I was shocked … 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.”