Pregnant-Looking Woman Shocked To Discover The Real Reason Her Belly Was Growing


Keely Favell was a young, twenty-something woman who should have been in the prime of her life.

Instead, she found herself in the middle of a medical mystery that would take over her life for years.

The First Signs

When Keely first noticed her belly was getting bigger, she thought she was pregnant. So she did what any young woman would do and took some over-the-counter pregnancy tests.

But when the test continued to come back negative, she grew more concerned as to why her belly was growing.


Keely's Background

Hailing from Swansea, Wales, Keely was a relatively healthy woman until about 2014. That year, she began to gain weight.

While she told BBC that she had never really considered herself “skinny,” she had never experienced her stomach being that large. After a few years of continually gaining weight, she perpetually looked pregnant.


She Was Active

Even though she described herself as naturally curvy, Keely maintained her figure by working out and eating healthy.

So she felt increasingly defeated when, despite her hard work, the scale kept going up.


Embarrassed To Go Out

As her stomach continued to grow, Keely became more and more conscious.

Everything she wore seemed to accentuate her swollen stomach. It was becoming harder for her to hide.


Her Stomach Kept Growing

It didn’t matter how much she worked out or how healthy she ate, Keely continued to gain weight — but only in her stomach.

She felt overwhelmed with her body and like there was nothing she could do to stop her stomach for expanding.


Can't Avoid It Any Longer

The situation was becoming unbearable. It was clear to Keely that gaining weight wasn’t the problem.

As her stomach grew, it began to feel abnormal and different. She knew it was time to find out what was really going on.


Sensitive Stomach

By now, Keely’s stomach felt more solid than it had before. It was also sensitive for her to touch.

If weight gain was the problem, then working out and eating healthy would have solved it by now. But she was still growing.


A Gut Feeling

Keely had grown to a size 8, which was larger than she had ever been in her life. She had a gut feeling about what might be going on, but she didn’t want to believe it was true.

At this point, she knew she had to face the facts about her condition — and she had no idea that it would be worse than what she imagined.



Keely believed that she must to be pregnant. It was the only thing that made sense.

Even though she and her longtime boyfriend were not planning for a child, she believed it was time to start expecting one.


Keely Tells Her Boyfriend

Keely and her boyfriend, Jamie Gibbons, had been together for a decade. She told him that there was a possibility she was pregnant, and that a baby could be causing her stomach to grow.

Even though they were both scared of being parents, they needed to know what was happening so they could prepare.


Taking The Test

Again, Keely took a pregnancy test, but this time, Jamie was with her. They held their breaths waiting for the results — and were stunned to see that it was negative.

Confused by the results, she took another test to be sure. But that one also came out negative.


Back To The Drawing Board

If Keely wasn’t pregnant, then what was causing her stomach to grow? She and Jamie decided that it was time to seek professional help.

They wondered if she had a miscarriage — or if something more serious was behind her expanding stomach.


Searching For Answers

Keely was fed up with not knowing what was going on with her body. She wanted answers, and was sure a doctor could give them to her.

But the doctor she visited with Jamie examined her and found nothing wrong. He told her she was just chubby.


Feeling Defeated

Keely was distraught by the doctor’s diagnosis and lack of help. She knew there was something else at play, and she felt like there was nowhere else to turn.

So she lived her life as normally as she could, despite her continued weight gain and growing fatigue.


Who Could She Believe?

Even though the tests were negative and the doctor said she was fine, Keely believed she was with child. It was the only thing that made sense in her mind.

She had trusted medical professionals her entire life. Her dad was even a doctor. But still, her gut was telling her that something wasn’t right.


Outgrowing A Pregnancy

If Keely was right, and she was pregnant, then everything would go away once the baby was born. Right?

So she became increasingly more concerned when her tummy grew larger and larger over the next few years rather than simply 9 months. One day, her illness caught up to her while she was at work.


Other Symptoms

In addition to having a growing belly, Keely was also experiencing a lot of fatigue and stomach pain.

One day, while at work, she began to feel sick, and within a few minutes, she fainted. When she came to, her co-workers told her she had just passed out.


Seeking Answers

Once again, Keely went to the doctor for help. She told him that she had fainted at the office.

Because she mentioned that her workload was high, he told her that it was probably stress that caused her to faint, and offered no other explanation.


Work Stress

The doctor convinced Keely that her work was causing her stress and that she didn’t have anything else to worry about.

This visit once again confirmed for the young woman that she wasn’t pregnant.


But She Still Looked Pregnant

Even though she wasn’t expecting, Keely got asked if she was pregnant all the time.

People just couldn’t believe that a woman with a stomach that was so expanded could be without child. It was an exhausting position for her to be in.


The Questions Kept Coming

When people asked her if she was pregnant, Keely would tell them no and that she had just gained some weight.

Still, she was becoming more fed up with the situation—and her stomach—every day. It was an exhausting situation that continuously became increasingly concerning.


Boy Or Girl?

Friends, strangers and co-workers would always ask Keely about her “baby.” They wanted to know the gender and when it was due.

She told them that she wasn’t pregnant and tried to spare their feelings by blaming it all on weight gain. She said it so much that she was starting to believe it herself.


Nothing Fits

As her stomach grew, Keely was no longer able to fit into any of her old clothes. Her large belly was getting in the way of her life.

Even though she was embarrassed by her size and how pregnant she looked, she could only fit into clothes from the maternity section.


New Clothes

In 2016, Keely decided to get all new clothes. At that time, she said her stomach was huge, but her legs and upper body were the same size they had always been.

Because her proportions were similar to that of a pregnant woman, she could only find things that fit her in the maternity section.


Trouble Continued

Keely had more than one fainting spell at work. Eventually, she had trouble breathing and constantly felt sick.

It reached a point where she could no longer trust the doctors that said nothing was wrong. She needed specialized medical opinions. Something was clearly not right.


A Push From Loved Ones

Her loved ones and co-workers were all concerned. They told her she needed to take better care of herself and seek the advice of a specialist.

They wondered why she waited so long, and Keely told them that other doctors made her feel like nothing was wrong. But by this point, it was clear something was.


Another Fainting Incident

Finally, Keely decided to seek help after she fainted for a fourth time at work. She set up an appointment with a local specialist.

After the doctor examined her, he told her that her acne medication was causing her to pass out and feel constantly fatigued. But Keely had a gut feeling that he was wrong and that it wasn’t that simple.


Enough Is Enough

It took a few years, but Keely finally realized that the doctors she had seen were not taking her health seriously. She could barely walk or breathe normally, and something had to change.

She was ready to take control of the situation and get the help—and answers—she needed.


It Wasn't The Medication

She came to this empowering conclusion because she had stopped taking the medication months ago that the doctor was blaming the fainting episodes on.

He then said that she might be pregnant, and took a blood sample to confirm it.


Another Pregnancy Test

The results from the blood test once again came back negative. Keely wasn’t pregnant.

The doctor, however, was not convinced. He ordered an ultrasound so he could confirm once and for all that she was with child.


The Ultrasound

With the ultrasound underway, Keely was hopeful to finally have some answers. The doctor told the technician to let him know the results immediately.

Neither he nor Keely could expect the complicated issue the technician was about to find.


Something Is Off

As the technician conducted the ultrasound and moved the machine across her belly, Keely noticed her expression changed.

The technician’s face turned concerned as she stared at the screen.


Ultrasound Results

The technician excused herself to check in with the doctor, who told Keely he was requesting a second opinion from another specialist.

This alarmed her and her mind starting spiraling with fears of what the results might have confirmed.


Not Pregnant

The doctor told Keely that the ultrasound confirmed what she knew all along: she wasn’t pregnant.

But the test had picked up another issue—one that could be fatal.


More Questions

Though it didn’t give the doctor an exact answer, he said the test found something else growing in Keely’s belly.

It could be something as benign as a cyst or something more severe like a tumor or an abnormality on her uterus. Even though she was closer to the truth, there were still so many questions.


And More Tests

The doctor ordered a CT scan for Keely to learn more about what was growing inside her.

The hospital staff attempted to keep her spirits up while letting her boyfriend and family waited an excruciatingly long time for the results.


A Final Diagnosis

The CT scan had confirmed that Keely’s growing stomach was caused by a massive lump in her ovaries. The doctors had no idea what stage the lump was at or if it could be fatal.

Upon hearing this news, Keely felt her world fall apart. She wanted answers, but she never thought this would be the one she would get.


The Lump

After more tests, doctors determined that the Keely’s lump was a 24-centimeter broad ovarian cyst. It had attached to her stomach, which was why she gained all the weight.

They told her that if the cyst ruptured, it could kill her. She required medical attention immediately.


A Rare Cyst

Ovarian cysts are usually not fatal. In fact, they’re pretty common and often don’t cause any additional health issues.

Keely’s cyst, however, was different and needed to be removed immediately.


Size Matters

Ovarian cysts don’t often burst, and if they do, it’s because they’re abnormally big.

If an abnormally big cyst bursts, it can block blood from getting to the ovaries, which can put the woman at risk of dying. It’s no wonder why doctor’s were concerned for Keely’s life.


Treatment Options

A month later, Keely saw a specialist who gave her multiple options for treatment.

He was shocked by the size of her stomach, and to this day, Keely says she’ll never forget his face as he first examined her.


One Of The Largest Cysts

The doctor confirmed that it was a cyst growing inside her, and even told Keely that he had never seen one as large as hers.

Though he tried to be professional, she could tell that he was stunned.


So Much Still Unknown

Even though the specialist could confirm the cyst, he couldn’t confirm if there were more—and if they could be attached to her internal organs.

If that was the case, she would have to undergo multiple operations to remove multiple cysts.


The Root Of All Her Problems

The weight gain, the fatigue, the fainting—the specialist confirmed that all of it was caused by the cyst.

Even though Keely felt validated that those other doctors were wrong, she was scared to learn that the specialists couldn’t be sure how much damage was done after years of having it grow.


The Treatment

After meeting with the specialist, Keely learned that she needed an operation to determine how big the cyst was.

It was disheartening for the specialist to hear that Keely had been told she was fine so many times by so many doctors.


Some Good News

Thankfully, the specialist was able to tell her that he would only have to remove one ovary instead of two. That meant there was still a possibility that she could have a child one day.

Still, he wasn’t sure how long she would need to stay in the hospital after surgery. Keely was told to prepare for the long haul.


Telling Her Family

Keely’s mom lived in Australia, and wasn’t fully aware of what was going on. Keely had told her of some of the problems, but didn’t want her to worry.

Now that she had answers, she knew her family needed to be aware of the entire situation. Plus, she wanted them by her side.


Going Through It Alone

Keely didn’t want to go through the operation alone. She wanted her mom and her sisters by her side.

Even though she had fought this battle solo, it was time for her to call on her loved ones for support.


Calling the Family

After telling her mom the news, she flew in from Australia just in time for the operation. Her dad had to stay at home, but told her that she could call him any time, even despite the large time difference.

With her support team in place, Keely finally felt ready for the operation.


Operation Day

With her family by her side, Keely waited a month for her operation.

Thankfully, time quickly passed, but her belly continued to expand. By the the day she arrived at the hospital, it had grown another five inches.



The specialist called in a high-risk obstetrician to help him with the operation, which needed to happen as fast as possible.

He explained that he would have to cut Keely from her breast bone to her pelvic bone in order to remove the large cyst.


The Day Finally Arrives

After a lot of anticipation, the day of Keely’s operation was here. She put on her hospital gown and socks and followed the nurse to the operating room.

She went numb after the nurse showed her the large needle she was about to be injected with.


Panic Attack

Keely started to panic and said that laying in that operating room, she started to fear like it was her last day on earth.

Two nurses were able to restrain her and hold her still enough so that they could administer the needle and begin surgery.


A Successful Operation

The specialist had originally told Keely’s family that surgery would last an hour — but now five hours had passed and they were growing concerned.

Finally, the doctor emerged from the operating room and told them that he was able to remove the mass. Keely would be okay.


Finally Free

After years of living with it, the abnormally large cyst was finally out of Keely’s body.

After she recovered, she could get back to her life and move on from this awful chapter.


Waiting For Keely To Wake Up

Keely and her family were terrified of what could happen during the surgery. With so many unanswered questions, the anxiety built up while they were waiting for her to come out of the operation room.

Now, they were all crowding around her just waiting for her to wake up and feel normal again.


How Large Was The Cyst?

After Keely woke up from the anesthetic, the doctor showed her photos of the cyst.

She was amazed at its size—and even more amazed to learn that it weighed a total of 60 pounds. That’s equivalent to carrying seven babies at once.


Not Fully Understanding

Keely was understandably groggy after surgery and didn’t fully comprehend what had happened.

Still, the nurses continued to show her pictures and marvel at the size of the cyst, which was a third of her body weight.


Back To Normal

In the days following the surgery, Keely reflected on how much the cyst had impacted her life over the past few years.

She wasn’t able to do some things she loved, and she couldn’t wait to start living life fully again.


Losing 60 Pounds

Keely couldn’t believe how much lighter she felt after the cyst was removed.

Prior to her operation, she could barely walk upstairs or even drive her car! After surgery she was 60 pounds lighter and ready to take on the world again.


A Nickname

With the operation behind her, Keely once again found her sense of humor.

When she saw pictures of the cyst, she thought it looked like a huge scoop of ice cream. So she decided to name it “Mr. Whippy.”


A Record Size

Unsurprisingly, the size of Keely’s cyst was uncommon, and its weight made her a medical oddity.

Even today, her family, friends and the doctors who operated on her can’t believe she lived with it for as long as she did.


Back At Home

Keely only had to spend four days in the hospital recovering before she was discharged to her home, where her boyfriend and mother were there to take care of her.

All that fear she had surrounding the operation was worth it now that she was resting comfortably at home.


A Permanent Reminder

The surgery left Keely with a very large scar that will always remind her of what happened. It’s 30 centimeters long and runs from her breast bone down to her pubic bone.

Despite this, she was able to get out of her hospital bed pretty soon after her operation and walk around.


Anything Is Better Than A Cysts

In addition to the scar, Keely also has some stretch marks along her tummy. But they don’t bother her.

She said she would take a few marks and scars over the large cyst any day.


A New Lease On Life

Since her surgery, Keely’s family says she has become a whole new person.

Not only was she half the size she had become, but she was also much happier and healthier.



Though she had a few minor issues post-op, Keely has recovered from her medical mystery as well as anyone could.

Her health is back to normal, and she feels great both physically and emotionally.


Never Forget

She also says that she can’t thank the doctors enough for finally listening to her.

Furthermore, she credits the speediness of her recovery to the support of her family, friends and co-workers.


Sharing Her Story

In the year following her surgery, Keely began to regain confidence in her body. So much so that she has started sharing her story with the masses.

It’s her hope that anyone going through something similar will find solace and inspiration in her tale. It’s all about knowing yourself and your body and ensuring the doctors and specialists take your concerns seriously when you know something isn’t right.