05/11/2015 04:27 EDT | Updated 05/11/2016 05:59 EDT

Longboarding accident saves Victoria man from brain tumour

A 32-year-old Victoria man, who was severely injured during a longboarding accident, says he is thankful the head injury he suffered led to the surprise discovery of a brain tumour.

"I am happy to be alive," said Adam Swales. "I got a second chance because of this freak skateboarding accident." 

Earlier in May, Swales was longboarding home in Victoria, B.C., when he tripped and hit his head on the ground. He wasn't wearing a helmet.

"Last thing I remember was catching a pebble under my wheel," he said. 

"Next thing I knew, I woke up in ICU on Sunday afternoon after being in a coma for two days."

Tumour 'size of an orange'

Swales required emergency surgery to reduce the swelling on his brain, which was pressing against his skull.

But when that didn't work, Swales said an MRI scan was ordered.

"The results that came back weren't good....[they] indicated that I had a brain tumour the size of an orange in my head."

Doctors said if the tumour had been left untreated, Swales could have been dead within a year.

'Scared and shocked'

Ninety per cent of the tumour has been removed with surgery and Swales will soon be starting chemotherapy.