Eugene Finney is probably the only person you’ll ever meet who will tell you, “A shark attack saved my life.”

Finney and his daughter were swimming off Huntington Beach, California when they were hit by a rough wave. As he clutched his daughter and slipped under water, he felt something large slam into him and cut across his back.

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He realized it was most likely a shark bite, though not a serious one. Finney didn’t bother going to the hospital until he got back home to Finchburg, Massachusetts — and that visit changed everything.

Doctors ran a CAT scan and found something that was a bigger threat than the shark had been — cancer on Finney’s right kidney. Without the scan, doctors told him he probably wouldn’t have known he was sick until it was too late to save him.

But thanks to the shark, they caught the cancer incredibly early. Finney spent only two days in the hospital while doctors used minimally invasive surgery to remove just 20% of the kidney. Afterwards, he showed no signs of the cancer.

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“I got a message from Mother Nature,” Finney told the Washington Post. “If I could find this shark and give it a hug, I would.”

(WATCH the video HERE at CNN or READ more at the Washington Post) — Photo by Eugene Finney, WBZ video

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