Man's subway fall discovers brain tumor

August 3, 2011 3:11:22 PM PDT
Paul Torres tends his garden fully aware that a close call with death is what saved his life.

March 5, 2007, on his way to work at a Midtown law firm, the 51-year-old collapsed as he stepped off a #3 train at Penn Station.

He fell on the tracks, only to see another train barreling towards him.

"I knew I had to do something so I rolled to the middle of the track," Torres said.

Now staring at the bottom of a subway train, paramedics pulled Torres to safety and rushed him to Bellevue Hospital, where doctors found and removed the cause of his collapse: a malignant brain tumor.

He emerged from surgery with only a 50-50 chance of survival.

About a month or two before his subway fall and then emergency surgery at Bellevue, a doctor scheduled Torres for an MRI to see what was causing his painful headaches.

He never went to that appointment.

"I just think I had a lucky day, a very lucky day," Torres said.

He was lucky indeed.

Torres retired on disability.

Along with his garden, he cares for his 86-year-old mother inside the Tremont home he grew up in.

His outlook on life is now transformed.

"The surgery changed my perspective on things," Torres said.

Torres hopes to tell his death and life story in the form of memoir called "Subway Miracle Man".

It's a story that ends happily ever after.