We have all read stories about people who discovered they had a major medical condition, but they were not properly diagnosed until late in the game. We’ve also heard about occurrences where women didn’t realize they were pregnant until delivery day.

A British woman named Keely Favell underwent surgery last year to remove a 57-pound ovarian cyst from her body. It was the size of a small child! Doctors insisted she was pregnant in spite of medical tests coming back negative.

Favell shared that she slowly started putting on weight back in 2014, and even took a few pregnancy tests during that period to rule out the possibility. She chalked it up to just “being fat” and moved on. As her stomach got bigger, strangers would often ask about her due date and she would sometimes play along to avoid embarrassment.

When she blacked out at work in 2016, it was enough to scare her into seeking medical care. Favell told the Mirror that her doctor attributed the fainting episode to work-related stress, and she accepted that explanation. It happened again, and the doctor said her acne medication was probably behind it.

But she stopped taking that months before the second fainting episode. She insisted on another blood test, which again showed she was not expecting. Although the general physician Favell saw believed she was pregnant, she was sent for an ultrasound. From there, things took a turn.

The tech was so shocked by what she saw that she called for a consult and Favell was then sent for an emergency CT scan. It was confirmed the mass in her body was a huge cyst.

A high-risk obstetrics specialist took over Favell’s care and performed the surgery. The procedure involved cutting from her chest down to her pelvic bone to remove the massive growth. Upon seeing the size of the mass after her operation, she nicknamed it Mr. Whippy.

The 5-hour surgery resulted in Favell losing a third of her weight, she happy to be able to function again. She told the BBC:

“I lost sight of how difficult even simple things like driving a car or walking up the stairs had become. Losing my lump gave me my life back – I can’t thank my surgeon enough.”

It is possible for ovarian cysts to go undetected for long periods of time, but some women experience discomfort or severe pain and some don’t. It is important to be persistent with your health care providers if you believe something is off with your body.

Common symptoms of an ovarian cyst include pain, swelling in the abdomen/pelvic region, abnormal menstrual cycle, cramps, or facial hair. Cysts do not always require surgery and many times will go away on their own.

Fortunately for Keely, her recovery went well, and doctors said she will still be able to have children if she chooses. She is relieved she can breathe and function normally again!

What do you think of this woman’s story? Were you ever in a situation where you had to cajole your doctor into looking further?