A Boston Man Was Attacked By A Shark — And It Saved His Life

Not the ending you expect from such a dangerous event.

Most of the time, when you hear about a shark attack, it doesn't have a happy ending.

But for a Fitchburg, Massachusetts local, it was the complete opposite.  Eugene Finney was enjoying a family vacation in Huntington Beach, California when he decided to go for a swim. After a few minutes, he was struck something that jarred him so much it gave him "instant whiplash." He struggled out of the water.

"Something struck me from behind. I'd never been hit like that before. It was pretty jarring," he told CBS Boston. "That's when my daughter said to me, Daddy, how come your back is all bloody?" 

Fitchburg had a big cut down his back. With serious chest and back pains that persisted through the night, Fitchburg decided to go to  St. Elizabeth's Medical Center.

"The pain was caused by interior bruising of the thoracic cavity due to blunt force trauma," Finney told CBS Boston. And then they dropped the bomb. "They had discovered a growth, or a tumor, on my right kidney about the size of a walnut."

The tumor was cancerous. 

"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 said. 

Not long after, and just a few weeks ago, the cancer was removed. CBS Boston described his prognosis as "great" and Finney said he didn't need chemotherapy or radiation, which he is extremely grateful for. Escaping a near-death experience and catching cancer early all in one day — not bad for a shark attack.