Andrew Caquias considers the morning he fell asleep at the wheel on his way home from work as a hospital security guard a blessing in disguise.
He veered off the freeway, hit a guardrail, went over a steep embankment and smacked into a eucalyptus tree going 80 miles an hour. When the first hospital he was taken to found two brain bleeds in a CT scan, Caquias was transferred for a higher level of care to Community Regional Medical Center, where he works.
After two days in the hospital, he was discharged home, but nausea and dizziness sent him back to the emergency room where additional scanning was done with an MRI machine. The more detailed image revealed a brain tumor pressing against Caquias’s brain stem in an area that affects movement and vision.
“Sometimes things happen for a reason,” said Neurosurgeon Nicholas Levine. “He was very fortunate and walked away with limited injuries from his car accident, but he ended up finding something no one expected.”
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