Keely Favell was living a normal life of a 24-year-old young woman when something strange started happening to her and nobody around her understood what exactly it was. That included the doctors!
Keely’s stomach was growing so fast that she resembled a pregnant woman. Pregnancy was the logical explanation but every test she took showed the opposite. She requested the help of professional doctors but they dismissed her worries.
Born in Swansea Wales, Favell is now 28 years old. However, starting in 2014 she started putting on weight and a few years later she resembled a woman in her 9th month of pregnancy. In an interview with the BBC, she admits that she was never particularly skinny but over time she started to develop this kind of pregnant stomach.
She was devoted to keeping up a healthy lifestyle and was careful with her body shape. She was happy with her body shape and devoted time to the gym. She was becoming frustrated with her increasing weight gain and especially that she had no explanation.
Not As It Seems
It’s funny for Keely to look back. At the time she was insecure that she would not have an outfit to wear for her Christmas party. She felt uncomfortable in her skin and did not realize this was just the beginning of her problems.
Too Fast To Keep Up With
She was doing everything in her power to stop gaining weight but her belly had a mind of its own. She even 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?
The change was so gradual that she did not detect that anything was going on. She kept working out and eating healthy but she continued to gain a massive amount of weight. There was nothing she could do.
Not Just Growing
She had no choice but to face her situation and her excess weight. She realized something strange though. All her weight was being directed at her stomach. Even its texture changed and she did not know how to go from there.
It was strange to touch and she knew it was not a normal weight gain. She was trying to stay hopeful and was sure it would pass eventually. Unfortunately, despite her persistent positivity, this was not exactly the case.
There’s Only One Explanation
Not only was her stomach growing but her whole life was changing and she was now a size eight. She still feared to see a doctor, specifically because her father was a doctor, which made her weaker.
Her Gut Feeling
However, she was very unprepared for what was to come. Her mind only went to one explanation and she wasn’t positive she wanted to believe it. I wonder what it could be…
She examined all her options and all the factors pointed to one possible cause. That reason was what she feared most. Was she pregnant? Her stomach was expanding at a rapid speed, she was mentally and physically exhausted, and she had been in a relationship for a long time.
When she pieced everything together it was pretty evident what it could be. She and her boyfriend were becoming quite anxious since they did not plan this. Unfortunately, it was certainly possible.
Soon To Be Parents
Keely’s boyfriend was named Jamie Gibbons and they were already dating for ten years by this point. The chance of them being pregnant was likely but they simply weren’t ready. Regardless they had to find out.
The Blue Stripe
Keely took a test and soon learned it came up negative. Although they were happy with this, they were still surprised. So they decided the responsible action would be to take a second one just to be sure.
Getting Really Worried
They were quite surprised by this result and decided together that they had no choice but to visit the doctor. She had a thousand and one things running through her head and she was starting to panic. What if she was seriously sick?
Facing Her Fears
She put her fears aside and went to visit a doctor. She expected something else when she walked into the doctor, and what she received was far from professional. All the doctors told her was that she was just fat.
Following Her Instincts
Even though the professionals were telling her that everything was okay, she still knew in her gut that something was off. Regardless, she continued a normal routine but she could still more or less function normally.
She had no interest in being pregnant, but at the same time, she didn’t quite understand why she wasn’t. She did not trust the doctors one single but felt like she had no right to question them.
The easy thing with pregnancy was that her giant stomach would go away after giving birth. Sadly, this went on for another full two years. With every month, her stomach expanded until an incident occurred at work which alerted everyone.
She was going about her work duties when she started to feel faint in the middle of the day. She also felt like she may throw up when suddenly she fell to the ground and lost all consciousness. Afterward, her colleagues explained to her what happened.
A Difficult Period
This incident was the reg flag she needed to understand the severity of the situation. She went immediately to the doctor who told her that it was all because of stress. That was it, stress? What about her giant belly?!
All From Stress?
Keely accepted this but did not understand how everything she was experiencing was just caused by stress. Her doctor wanted to calm her and assured her that nothing major was happening to her.
Not What It Appears
Her entire community was noticing these changes and frequently asked her about her evident pregnancy. Every time the same conversation, the same explanation. Keely was exhausted.
No End In Sight
Every single day Keely had the same response. At a certain point, she thought to herself that she needed to change things up. She was infuriated with the situation and was becoming incredibly pessimistic.
Everyone around her was interested in her due date and she was so fed up that she even started going along with it. She had no explanation and did not know what to say to them, all she wanted was for it top stop,
Keely was mortified by the way she looked and she could not fit into any of her clothes. She decided all she could do was to shop in the maternity section since nothing else was going to get over that belly.
She recalls when she went shopping in 2016 and it was impossible to find something that fine. Although she was super skinny on top and bottom, there was a giant bump in the middle making this complicated.
Despite everything happening to her, Keely was hesitant about getting help. She was blacking out at work and having complications breathing but she continued to refuse help. Her life was beginning to fall apart.
If it hadn’t been for her coworkers, Keely would have never gotten the help she so desperately needed. Her community often wonders why she didn’t try to help herself before. Was she afraid, or did she simply not care?
A New Explanation
Keely did her best to ignore her circumstances but when she had reached four blackouts, it was clear that she needed to get checked out. Well, the doctor reasoned by saying that it was simply because of her acne medication.
Time To Stand Up
None of the professionals Keely visited were taking her seriously. She reasoned it with other explanations and factors occurring in her life. By this time she needed to stand her ground and get to the bottom of this.
Enough Was Enough
There was no possibility that her medication was the cause given that she had stopped taking it way before. She spoke to another doctor who was positive she was pregnant. However, all the tests he did came out negative.
Getting To The Bottom Of It
It was clear from the blood tests that she was not pregnant, yet the GP insisted on a second ultrasound. Keely could barely walk without struggling to breathe. Something needed to be done urgently.
The Truth At Last
The doctor was not willing to take no for an answer and needed to find out the cause. She thought she was going to get a positive for pregnancy, but instead, she started something entirely different.
Keely was trying to be patient with the doctor during the ultrasound and tried her best to remain calm. However, when she saw the terror in her doctor’s eyes she was far beyond the point of being calm.
The doctor called for an emergency consultant and that’s when Keely started to go into a full-blown panic. Her body was completely frozen and she was beginning to lose it. Was she about to uncover the mystery behind her giant stomach?
The ultrasound showed that there was no chance of pregnancy, but there was still something growing inside her. It was clear that something was threatening her life and they were about to get to the bottom of it.
Keely was thinking of every possible explanation that would evoke such terror in her doctor’s eyes. She was a professional and she looked like she had never seen anything so frightening! She was frightened of what was to come.
Since the ultrasound was blank, the doctor needed to follow up with a CT scan to get the full picture of what they were dealing with. The doctors were getting Keely ready for the big news and she patiently waited with her boyfriend.
Definitely Not Pregnant
At that point, pregnancy was off the table and they were on to the next possible explanation. The doctors confirmed that her stomach was actually due to an enormous ovarian mass. As soon as those words left the doctor’s mouth, Keely felt her life falling apart.
To The Skin
Cysts are not typically harmful but this was one was far from normal. It was 24 centimeters thick and growing attached to her stomach. Her gaining weight was finally explained but her life was still very much at risk. Something needed to be done and fast!
What Exactly Is An Ovarian Cyst?
For those who may not be familiar with the term cyst, they are a fluid-filled sac that can grow on a woman’s ovary but also anywhere else. They are not rare and usually cause no harm. Almost always they by themselves, but this is not what happened in Keely’s case.
A cyst becomes dangerous when it bursts, blocks the supply to ovaries, or is extremely large. Well, I think we know which one suits Keely’s cause. This cyst was far from normal and was putting her life at high risk.
Exploring Her Options
Within a month, Keely was corresponding with a consultant who was specializing in her case. She will never forget the look on her face. It was clear that she had never seen anything of this sort in her whole life.
She was extremely professional and calm when she delivered the news, but the expression on her face was what Keely was focusing on. The doctor did not see this coming and when they discovered the size of the cyst they were speechless.
That’s Not All
The doctor confirmed that there was a high chance for not one, but multiple cysts growing and all attached to different organs. Keely was blown away at this point. It was clear the only option was to go into immediate surgery.
They had canceled out all the other causes, but still, here were mysterious to be solved. Such as the actual size of the cyst, and how it was affecting her body. She was having symptoms and they were unrelated to pregnancy.
The doctor did not have all the answers but he was sure of one thing and that was that action needed to be taken. He was also stunning by the attitude and lack of professionality on behalf of the doctors. They had all turned Keely away and he was ashamed.
One Thing For Certain
The doctor did confirm that Keely was going to lose an ovary. He was unsure of the exact location of the cyst, but its position would determine the length of her hospital stay. Keely was fearing for her life at this point and felt like she was giving away her life with no definite answer.
Both of Keely’s parents were in Australia through the duration of this difficult period. Keely had chosen not to inform them as she did not want them to worry. However, this whole ordeal had been harsh on Keely and she knew it was now time to inform them. She felt that she could tell them now that they had pin-pointed what exactly was wrong with her, Keely needed her mom by her side especially with what was to come…
She desperately needed emotional support, familial support, and although her boyfriend had been there for her it was just not the same. Keely told her mom and her sister, she would no longer be alone and would have those she loved by her side. This had been a true trauma and she longed for those closest to her to be by her side.
Ready To Go
Her mom had taken the first flight out of Australia and headed to her daughter’s side. She was there within two days. Unfortunately, Keely’s dad could not venture to be by her side but it was known that he was just a call away and would be available whenever she needed. Keely’s team had arrived and were ready to be by her side through the next leg of the journey ahead…
The doctors informed Keely her surgery would take place in exactly one month. the day came around before she knew it. Her stomach had continued to grow even more since that time, since the last time she saw her doctor it had grown another five inches. This growth was drastic and encompassed exactly how severe what was going on inside her stomach was.
Due to the complexity of Keely’s cyst, it was only normal that a high-risk obstetrics specialist be referred and asked to operate. The doctors went through the steps of the procedure and explained how they would make an incision from the top of her sternum all the way to the pelvic bone, this incision was used previously when C-sections were performed. It was large.
March 9th, 2017
In the blink of an eye the day had come about. As she arrived at the hospital a nurse guided her and handed her a gown and socks in which she had to change into. She was terribly anxious, shaky, and worried, Keely was afraid of needles. Many people are very worried about the anesthetic and going under the knife.
As Keely was about to be put under she started flinching and scuffling, extra nurses were brought in to hold her down and ensure that she remained still as they inserted the needle. WHen she recalls the event Keely says she was so overcome with fear, her mind was racing and she just thought she was going to die.
And The Wait Continues
The surgery was scheduled to take an hour long. However, once they had opened her up it became evident that this surgery was not what they had planned, the surgery took five hours. Her family had anticipated a short surgery but became evidently stressed as they sat in the waiting room and were informed it would be longer. They prayed for their dear Keely, that was all they could do.
Back To Normal
The cyst inside her abdomen was massive, the operating team was in utter awe with its weight and size. Finally, this massive mass was separated from her stomach and Keely would now have a normal stomach once again. Her normal life awaited her and this terrible ordeal would soon just be a thing of the past.
Minutes To Hours
This surgery was extremely stressful for her entire family as well as her, however, it was the only solution so that Keely could get back to living her normal life. This surgery had taken almost the entire day, all her loved ones anxiously awaited but Keely pulled through- the surgery was a success. Now it was just time for her to recover.
This cyst was amongst the biggest the doctors and nurses had ever seen it weighed an enormous 60 pounds, she was lugging around an additional 60 pounds with her! This is the equivalent of carrying seven babies in her stomach at once. As Keely became conscious again she was surrounded by medical staff eager to show her pictures of just how huge this thing was.
Treated Like A Celebrity
When she awoke, Keely was sedated, and truly out of it, she was completely overwhelmed. Keely said, “I remember still being groggy from the anesthetic as they wheeled me back to the ward and excited hospital staff was shoving photos in front of me.” The staff too were taken aback and had never seen such a thing.
Keely’s bodyweight had been majorly affected as the cyst had taken up one-third of whatever her weight was then. She had now come to the understanding of exactly how this had been affecting her day to day life. Keely did not know a normal life, she did not realize how it had truly altered her way of life. This major anchor was now finally gone.
Losing The Cyst
It had taken getting it removed for her to actually understand just how much her life had been adjusted by it, her day to day living was truly altered. It was the finer things that had been affected, such as, driving a car, walking, climbing stairs, and everyday activities that had become harder for her. Keely was grateful and felt like she could start afresh.
Keely was shocked with just how huge the cyst was, she could not believe she had been carrying that around with her, shocked was an understatement. When Keely had fully regained her consciousness and could fully analyze the images she explained, “It looked like a massive pile of ice cream so I called it Mr. Whippy!” We think she was still a bit drugged.
The doctors had said that her cyst was a phenomenon, a sort of medical first for many of them. Word of her cyst had spread throughout the hospital, staff members, Katie and everyone else in the vicinity were unable to comprehend the size. Nonetheless, internalize the fact she had been carrying it around with her.
Just a short four days later and Keely was given the go-ahead to go home. With her boyfriend and mother by her side, she was all set for recovery on the outside. As scared as Keely was she knew that she was stronger than ever and was excited to begin this new chapter. Keely explained how she can no longer remember what life was like with all that extra weight holding her back. The only downside was a small complication that happened during the surgery…
Keely has been left with constant reminders of this readful time, although she is grateful to be happy and healthy. She has a scar the size of a ruler all the way down her mid-section, as well a stretch marks around her abdomen. Keely made a fast recovery and was out and about very soon after the surgery took place. However, during surgery Keely had lost her right ovary…
It was thankfully just one ovary and Keely would e able to have children with her left one. This outcome was not so terrible. She had scars and stretch marks but these were just reminders of how strong she was and what she had overcome, she was now eager to begin her life and live normally.
A New Woman
As the rest of her beloved friends and family came to check up on her after surgery they too were completely taken aback. Keely looked like a whole new individual, she was less than half the size she was before the surgery. Her figure was accentuated and shown, she was slender and petite in fact. This gave her the confidence she once had.
As Keely looks back on her journey and her recovery she sees just how much her life has changed for the better. The status of he overall health is different and had evolved for the better, better than it has been in years. Keely’s mental and physical state has improved tremendously, one surgery changed her whole life.
Katie spoke to her loved ones: friends, family, co-workers and thanked them for helping her through a dark and difficult time period. Keely acknowledges that without these special people, without her support system she would not have been able to pass such a dreadful time in her life. She thanks and counts her lucky stars daily.
Keely gained the confidence to discuss her story with the world, something she never would have been able to do a year before this. Now, she loves her body and her appearance, she has learnt to accept her own skin. Keely is an inspiration to all as she openly shares her story, her embarrassment and aims to help others.
Despite the hardships she’s been through, and the reminders that are found on her body in the form of scars and stretch marks, she adapted back to her normal everyday life and is living normally. Keely is most appreciative for the fact that she will still be able to have children, and that her one ovary made it.
Alexandra & Antonin
Alexandra Kinova and her husband Antonin Kroscen wanted to start a family of their own but they had no clue what was about to happen to them. This pair was the type that had set a time frame for their life events when an unexpected surprise found them. They discovered that Alexandra was pregnant, and with twins! They were given some further unanticipated news…