A teenager whose friends kept asking if she was pregnant was stunned to discover she had a cyst the size of a football in her stomach.
Abi Chadwick, 19, ballooned from a size 12 to 18 within a few months but couldn’t work out why.
She went on a diet but couldn’t shift her tummy bulge. When she started having sharp pains in her stomach, she went to the doctors – who discovered a 13in cyst.
Abi said: “I’m yet to see anyone that’s had one that big. I thought the cyst would be small and it would go, but I realised my stomach was all cyst.”
The care assistant first noticed something wasn’t right when she suddenly gained two stone.
She said: “My stomach was rock hard and when I used to go out to the shops, people used to tell me I looked nine months’ pregnant.
“It made me feel bad because I couldn’t lose weight even though I wanted to.”
She added: “Every time I had two mouthfuls of toast I would be absolutely stuffed – I couldn’t figure out why.
“I couldn’t eat any more so that really took its toll.
“People kept telling me I was pregnant, but I thought it was just because I was fat and there was nothing I could do, so I brushed it off.”
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But in March, Abi started experiencing severe stomach pain and went to hospital.
She said: “I had what felt like a stitch in my right side and it was agony. I couldn’t really walk or bend over.
“The pain didn’t stop so I went to A&E and they thought it was appendicitis or kidney stones. But after getting checked over again they couldn’t find anything. I didn’t know what to do.”
Doctors finally scanned Abi’s abdomen and were shocked to find the huge growth.
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Abi, from Cannock, Staffs, said: “I couldn’t believe it when they told me. They said I had a cyst in my abdomen which needed to be removed.
“I was probably born with it and it just grew and grew and I never knew. If I had left it and it ruptured it could have been really bad.”
Abi had the cyst taken out a fortnight later at Walsall Manor Hospital, West Mids.
She said: “I was so relieved when I finally got it removed and I feel like myself again.”
And she added: “I’m glad I don’t look pregnant any more, but I can’t believe I was walking around like that for so long.”
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