This is Keely Favell, just your average mid-twenty-year-old woman. That is if you consider this situation an average one. When she was only 24 years old, something unbelievable started growing inside her. Her doctors couldn’t figure out what it was.
Keely’s stomach grew so big and so quickly that it seemed like she was pregnant! The strangest part was that she wasn’t pregnant at all. Each and every pregnancy test she took came back negative, but her doctors continued dismissing her overwhelming concerns.
Keely is a 28-year-old from Swansea in Wales. Back in 2014, she started gaining weight. In just a few years, she looked like someone who was nine months pregnant. She told BBC that she never was too skinny, but she gradually developed a belly like this.
Keely tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle and was very conscious about keeping her figure. She loved her curves and spent plenty of time at the gym. This is one of the reasons her weight gain was so infuriating. Sadly, the mystery was left unsolved.
Not As It Seems
By this point, Keely was sure her biggest problem was whether she’d be able to go to her work Christmas party. She simply felt so insecure in her outfit, she didn’t know if she could bring herself to go. She felt as if she wasn’t thin enough.
Too Fast To Keep Up With
She tried everything, but her stomach refused to stop growing. She said, “I was exercising and eating healthily but I was slowly getting bigger. There’s nothing worse than keeping a healthy lifestyle but still gaining an excessive amount of weight.”
What Was Going On?
“It crept up so slowly [that] I didn’t know anything was wrong – I thought I was putting on timber.” She said. No matter how much she worked out and maintained a healthy strict diet, she was still gaining a huge amount of weight.
Not Just Growing
By this point, she couldn’t keep ignoring her major weight gain. She started noticing that all the weight she was gaining was going only to her stomach, and it felt different as well. What could she do about it?
Her stomach started feeling hard and uncomfortable to the touch. All the same, she stayed positive and hoped it would go away over time. However, some things don’t just work out the way we want them to.
There’s Only One Explanation
Her dress size was growing at a fast rate and she was now a size eight. Still, she was too scared to go see a doctor about it. She grew up with her father being a doctor, making her rather apprehensive about medical practitioners.
Her Gut Feeling
She had no idea that bigger concerns were fast approaching. At this point, she could only think of one possible explanation. She didn’t know if she wanted to believe it, either. What could she be thinking it was?
Considering all the possibilities, Keely came to the conclusion that there was only one possible reasoning for this, which was pregnancy. Her stomach was growing and she was gaining weight. She was constantly exhausted, plus she had a serious boyfriend.
Looking at all the facts, everything pointed to pregnancy. The possibility made Keely and her boyfriend really nervous. If she was pregnant, then it was completely unplanned. However, given her situation, it was definitely a possibility.
Soon To Be Parents
Keely and her boyfriend, Jamie Gibbons, have been together for 10 years already by then. They definitely considered the possibility that Keely was in fact pregnant. Even though they felt they weren’t ready for it, they knew they had to at least check.
The Blue Stripe
When the two of them saw the negative result of the pregnancy test, they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. They thought it must be wrong, so Keely took a second one to check again. However, the test came back negative for the second time.
Getting Really Worried
They decided it was time to go see a doctor. They couldn’t figure out what was going on. Was Keely sick? Did she have a miscarriage? So many dreaded things were running through their minds and scaring them.
Facing Her Fears
Keely was left with no other choice than to go finally see a doctor. Sadly, she didn’t get the answer she was expecting or hoping for at all. All the doctor told her was that she was “merely fat”. By this point, Keely felt like there was no way out.
Following Her Instincts
Even though the doctors kept dismissing her worries, Keely felt like something was wrong. However, she ignored it as best as she could since it didn’t impact her daily routine too much. Still, she couldn’t figure out what was going on with her body.
She couldn’t stop wondering why and how she wasn’t pregnant. It looked and felt like she was pregnant, so what was it? She didn’t fully trust the doctors and what they thought it was. However, they were professionals, after all, so she could trust them, right?
If she really was pregnant, at least the problem would go away once she gave birth. Unfortunately, her stomach kept on growing for a full two years. Each month it kept getting larger and larger until something terrible happened when Keely was at work.
It was just another normal day at work when suddenly, Keely felt really light-headed and nauseous. That’s when she passed out and collapsed. Once she came to, she was told by her coworkers that she had fainted.
A Difficult Period
After this happened, Keely realized she had to go see a doctor immediately. She said, “It was a tough period in work and when I passed out my GP put it down to stress.” By this point, she had no other explanation for the situation and just had to keep living her life.
All From Stress?
Is it really possible to pass out from being too stressed? Keely wasn’t so convinced. However, her doctor tried reassuring her that nothing serious was going on. And that she definitely was not pregnant.
Not What It Appears
It was pretty impossible to avoid questions about Keely’s “pregnancy”. People noticed her clearly growing stomach. There was no trying to ignore it. She kept having to explain herself over and over again.
No End In Sight
Every day, Keely would always answer the questions in the same exact way, “The doctors say I am just overweight.” Despite the fact that she was very annoyed with the situation, she didn’t see any end in sight.
She said people were constantly asking her when the baby was due, and after a while of this happening, she started lying to spare them the embarrassment. Instead, she told them she was just overweight since that’s what she believed.
As she began waddling around with a giant belly, Keely started getting embarrassed about her appearance. She even had to start shopping in the maternity section since none of her own clothes fit her anymore.
“I remember trying to shop for clothes in December 2016 and nothing would fit. I was skin and bone on top, then this massive lump and normal legs. The only thing that was going to fit was maternity wear.” She said.
When it came to getting help, Keely was rather stubborn on the matter. Only after she had several blackouts at work, trouble breathing, and excessive weight gain that started interfering with her life, did she reach out for help.
This still wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Keely’s coworkers who insisted that she go get herself checked out. A lot of people wonder why she didn’t take care of herself more since something was clearly off. Why was it taking her so long to get help?
A New Explanation
She was just going about her life as normally as she could, trying her best to avoid her situation. However, after she had passed out four times, she had had enough. This time around, her doctor reasoned her exhaustion by blaming her acne medication, but Keely refused to accept this response.
Time To Stand Up
It felt like the doctors weren’t taking her symptoms or her situation seriously enough. They kept blaming other causes and things that were going on in Keely’s life. She then decided it was finally time to put her foot down.
Enough Was Enough
As for her acne medication, she had stopped taking it months earlier and insisted that there had to be another explanation. She went to another doctor for a second opinion, but they also said Keely had to have been pregnant. He did multiple blood tests that all came back with no results.
Getting To The Bottom Of It
Her GP came to the conclusion that the only explanation was pregnancy, no matter what the blood test results showed as they had no other explanation. And so, he ordered her a second ultrasound. By this point, Keely had trouble walking and even breathing.
The Truth At Last
The doctor who saw her requested to check if she was pregnant immediately. Was she finally going to get to the bottom of this? It certainly opened a whole new can of worms that she wasn’t expecting in the least.
As the doctor did the ultrasound, Keely watched silently. However, once she saw the doctor’s expression, she knew something was seriously wrong. The doctor’s eyes opened wide and a look of fear came over their face.
The doctor called for a consultant and immediately, Keely froze. Jamie, her boyfriend, tried consoling her but there was no stopping the panic rising in her at that moment. What was actually going on inside her stomach?
The ultrasound screen seemed blank, making it clear that Keely wasn’t pregnant at all. However, there was still something bad going on inside her stomach. The only thing they knew for sure was that her life was in danger.
The possibilities were endless. It could have been a cyst, or a tumor, among other things. They needed a CT to find out exactly what it was. Keely was shocked, and understandably so. She was so worried about what would happen next. Her mind was running wild with the possibilities.
The mysteriously blank ultrasound let to a request for an immediate CT scan that revealed shocking news. The doctors gently prepared Keely for what they were about to tell her. She and her boyfriend sat holding each other, waiting for the big news.
Definitely Not Pregnant
There was no doubt that Keely wasn’t pregnant. The real reason for her large stomach was a huge ovarian mass that has grown. This is when Keely felt as if the whole world came crashing down. The doctor couldn’t even confirm exactly what it was they were dealing with.
To The Skin
It was definitely not your average cyst: it was 24 centimeters thick and attached to Keely’s stomach. This finally explained her gaining weight, but her life was still in danger. The doctors had to do something immediately.
What Exactly Is An Ovarian Cyst?
Essentially, a cyst is a fluid-filled sac that can develop on a woman’s ovary. They are very common and for the most part, don’t cause any harm. They normally disappear on their own, but not always. For Keely, that clearly wasn’t the case.
The only time when a cyst can interfere with someone’s life is when it ruptures, and as a result, blocks the blood supply to the ovaries. In this case, it was simply very large – extremely large. It interfered with her daily life.
Exploring Her Options
So what could she do about it? A month later, Keely was talking to a specialist about the options that were available to her. The image of the consultant’s face was still ingrained in her brain. She couldn’t believe what was really going on.
Even though he calmly explained how she had a large ovarian mass, his face showed the truth. He was shocked beyond belief. No one could have expected a cyst this large, not even the specialist who has been treating people for years.
That’s Not All
The doctor went on, saying that it was possible there were multiple cysts that could be attached to organs. Keely couldn’t believe what she was hearing, and yet, she knew that by this point, her only real option was surgery.
Despite the fact that they had already ruled out other explanations, they still weren’t clear on the effects the cyst had on her body. Clearly, she had side effects, and they had nothing to do with being pregnant.