NEPTUNE, N.J. (PIX11) – Imagine returning to work one week after brain surgery. Believe it or not, that’s what happened to Eliano Mesquita of Jackson, N.J.

October 2022, in the middle of his day on the job at a construction site, Mesquita went home with a headache. The 42-year-old husband and dad of three had been diagnosed with a small, slow-growing tumor in his brain that his doctors had monitored since 2014. But on this visit to the ER, doctors discovered that it had changed to a high-grade, rapidly-growing tumor.

Dr. Nitesh Patel is a neurosurgeon and co-director of the Neurosurgical Oncology Program at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. He performed a special, minimally-invasive surgery to remove the tumor and save his life.

“We were able to just form a two-and-a-half, three-inch incision up here up top and make a small opening in the skull, about the size of a tea bag or a matchbook,” said Patel. 

In surgeries like these, doctors said patients can have a faster recovery.

“Patients usually feel very impressed when they wake up from surgery,” said Dr. Eduardo Correia, Mesquita’s neuro-oncologist. “They may feel a little bit or soreness, but they feel within 24 hours they can walk and possibly be discharged within a couple of days.”

In Mesquita’s case, he was able to be discharged a couple of days after surgery and even went back to doing light work for his company the next week.

“That’s the way that I am,” said Mesquita. “I always like to be positive with anything in my life.”

“We as a team can take credit for his surgery, take credit for getting him through the hospitalization, but him getting back to work, him being back on his feet, that motivation, that’s Eliano,” said Patel. “All we can do is provide support to him, that was genuinely him and it just speaks to the volume of the type of person he is.”

Eliano’s incredible story continues, as his doctors said he continues to respond well to his treatment. In addition, he offers a profound perspective on his experience:

“Be positive,” said Mesquita. “That’s all that matters to me. You’re only not going to make [it] if you give up. If you be strong and positive, this is nothing.”