Keely Favell, a typical Welsh young lady, found herself involved in a medical mystery. Her belly kept on growing abnormally large for years, but doctors told her repeatedly that she was neither pregnant nor was there something serious going on. It's not until the condition almost took over her life that the mystery was solved. The real cause of her swollen belly was rather incredible.
1. Weird Weight Gain
Keely was naturally curvy, slim, and fit. To maintain her figure, she went to the gym regularly and ate only healthy foods. In 2014, however, Keely found that she was beginning to put on weight. Despite an active and healthy lifestyle, her weight just continued to increase weirdly.
2. Particular Problem Area
What's weirder was that it was her belly that was gaining most of the weight. In fact, her stomach had gotten really swollen and more solid than normal. Keely thought if she adhered to her healthy lifestyle, the condition would disappear by itself. But she soon found out that her positive attitude could change nothing.
3. The Situation Snowballs
Keely's tummy just kept expanding, and before long she was a size 8. A daughter of a doctor, Keely was apprehensive about a negative diagnosis, so she didn't consider seeing a doctor. Actually, she had a sneaky feeling that she knew the cause of her belly bump. However, little did she know that things wouldn't go as expected.
4. Probable Cause
Keely analyzed her symptoms and concluded that she must be pregnant. She had been in a relationship with boyfriend, Jamie Gibbons, for a decade, but the couple was still unprepared for parenthood. But now, it seemed they would have to rethink their plans for the future. Whatever, they still had to confirm if she was expecting or not.
5. Feeling Concerned
Unbelievably, the home pregnancy test turned out to be negative. Confused by the result, Keely took another test, but still, it was negative. Keely then became truly concerned, worrying if she had had a miscarriage or that something serious was going on. Keely finally decided to seek medical advice. However, she wouldn't get the answer she was expecting.
6. Sought Medical Advice
After an examination, the doctor told her that she was just chubby. It was just as incredible as the news that she wasn't pregnant. But Keely had no reason to doubt the diagnosis of a medical professional. So despite the ongoing weight gain, Keely just lived her life normally and didn't see another doctor in the next couple of years until it finally caught up with her.
7. Yielded To The Condition
On a typical workday, Keely felt sick to her swollen stomach and fainted suddenly. After she came around, Keely visited a doctor immediately. And this time, the doctor diagnosed her blackout as work stress related, adding once again that nothing was serious. Again, it was confirmed that she was not expecting, but no other explanation was given for her large belly.
8. Altered Body Shape
People around kept asking if she was pregnant or when the baby was due. Keely constantly fended off these questions, and gradually, she became really fed-up with the whole ordeal. Furthermore, Keely felt mortified tottering around like a mom-to-be, and she even had to shop for maternity wear to accommodate her huge belly.
9. Sought Out A Specialist
In late 2016, Keely's tummy had gotten so huge that she continued passing out and even began having trouble breathing. Under colleagues' persuasion, Keely finally sought out a specialist for a full check-up. On this occasion, the doctor said it was her chronic medication for acne that had caused her fainting spells. But Keely insisted that this was not the real cause.
10. Medical Investigations
Keely actually hadn't taken the acne medication for months, so she told the doctor there must be other causes of her symptoms. And again, the doctor suggested she might be expecting, and this time, a blood sample was taken to test for pregnancy. And again, the result was negative. Even so, the doctor was sure Keely was pregnant and then ordered an ultrasound to verify his judgment.
11. Finally A Diagnosis
Like the doctor, Keely also hoped the ultrasound would give her the answer, but the results only further complicated matters. As the technician did the ultrasound, Keely found his facial expression changed. And when her doctor saw the ultrasound results, he requested another specialist's opinion instantly. The fact that the doctors had suddenly become concerned left Keely frozen in alarm.
12. Terrible Result
The ultrasound confirmed Keely was not pregnant but instead revealed another issue that could be fatal. In her swollen belly, there could be anything from a cyst or tumor to an abnormality of her uterus. Keely's mind was reeling, and straight after, the doctor ordered a CT scan. The result finally revealed the real reason for her large stomach, and it's rather shocking.
13. Her World Tilting On Its Axis
Keely and her boyfriend tried to keep calm before the doctor broke the final results to them. The doctor told them cautiously that Keely was never pregnant, and the cause of her growing belly was a huge ovarian cyst measuring 24 centimeters across. It was attached to her stomach, and if it burst, the cyst could endanger her life. Keely felt her world had been turned upside down.
14. Size Makes A Difference
While ovarian cysts are not rare and usually won't cause health issues, Keely's was different as it was abnormally large. Medical treatment was required instantly, but it was not until one month later that Keely eventually found a specialist who could give her a treatment option. The specialist was completely stunned by the size of the mass and warned Keely that she might not have only one cyst.
15. More Information
The terrible news was undoubtedly another heavy punch at Keely's heart. She had been told by many doctors that there were no serious medical issues with her growing belly, but in fact, she was very ill. The harsh fact shocked Keely, and she knew that she had to have the specialist remove the cyst or cysts as soon as possible. But the specialist had more to say.
16. A Definite Fact
As the cyst was tightly attached to her right ovary, the specialist warned her that her right ovary would have to be removed together with the cyst. The silver lining was that this would not affect her chances of getting pregnant. The specialist continued to explain that she might need a long-haul hospital stay due to the cyst's special position. Keely felt really fearful of the impending operation, so she asked a favor.
17. Surrounded By Family
Keely needed her mom and sisters by her side, supporting her through this ordeal. Before the final diagnosis, she had managed the whole situation on her own, but now, she needed her family to be with her. Only two days later, Keely's mom flew in from Australia. Having had that emotional support, Keely then got ready to face the surgery and the long recovery process.
On the big day, the anesthetic injection panicked her so much that she would not hold still and even wanted to leave the hospital. It took two nurses to restrain her so that they could finish the injection. She later recalled that at that point, she felt like it was her final day on the globe. It was estimated that the operation would last for an hour, but actually, it took much longer.
19. Be On Tenterhooks
The operation went as long as five hours, and during that period, her family felt so anxious waiting outside, fearing that she would not make it through the surgery. Fortunately, the mass was removed from Keely's body successfully, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. When they saw the things that had been taken out of Keely's belly, they were stunned.
20. 60 Pounds Heavy
Everyone knew the cyst was huge, but no one expected that it would weigh a whopping 60 pounds. This was a third of Keely's body weight and it was like carrying 7 babies concurrently. When Keely saw the picture of the cyst after she came around, she was amazed by its size, too. She likened it to a large mass of ice cream and jokingly called it "Mr. Whippy."
21. A New Lease On Life
Before the surgery, Keely was unable to drive well or walk easily. Now 60 pounds lighter literally, she felt great and could do many things that she felt hard before. With the help of her family and lover, Keely recovered well. She felt that all the panic and pain she suffered before the operation was well worth what she felt now, except for a few minor issues.
22. Body Marks
The operation left a 30 centimeters long scar on her abdomen from her breast bone straight to her pubic bone. In addition, her long swollen belly had left stretch marks on her body. All these marks reminded her of the ordeal she experienced as well as the love and support she got from her family, friends, and doctors.
23. The Future Looks Good
Now Keely has had her pre-cyst body back, becoming a curvy and thin lady again. Her health is also back to normal both physically and emotionally. She has regained confidence and feels very blessed to be given a chance to live healthily again. Keely shared her poignant story in the hope that everyone should be aware of any abnormality in their bodies and stay fit and healthy.