Yadira Rostro found the headaches that had started were getting worse. And sometimes she couldn’t even see properly.
So the 31-year-old mom from Garland, Texas went to the hospital.
Doctors made a stunning discovery–the cause of the headaches and vision loss was sacs of larvae from eight tapeworm eggs.
And they were growing.
“They looked a little bit like eggs, and they have a clear sac,” neurosurgeon Richard Meyrat of Methodist Dallas Medical Center explained. “And inside it, a small tapeworm.”
He told WFAA-TV that Rostro likely picked up the parasite on a trip to Mexico two years ago after ingesting food contaminated with fecal matter.
Common parasites usually just go right through humans, but this time it went into Rostro’s bloodstream, then her brain.
Dr. Jessica Jones said in a blog post earlier this year that the tapeworm larvae live in infected pigs, and latch onto the intestinal tract sometimes when people consume undercooked pork.
“When your brain becomes infected, it can cause neurological symptoms – epilepsy, seizures, headaches, obstructive hydrocephalus, encephalitis, stroke and cognitive and other mental health disorders,” she wrote.
The images shocked Meyrat, who had never seen anything like this before.
Fortunately, Rostro is expected to make a full recovery. But she doesn’t want to see the pictures of the tapeworms in her brain.
“I think shes just happy to be alive,” Meyrat said. “Her headaches are gone, and she’s feeling better.