Doctors said the massive cyst had been growing inside Dora Lewis for several years, attaching itself to her stomach wall and pushing her vital organs up and to the left. Lewis suffered health complications -- heart pain and nausea -- as a result of the growth, but she had dismissed her expanding midsection as the weight that comes with old age.
After her husband died, Lewis had trouble remaining diligent about her health; and a lack of health insurance made finding a doctor for a proper diagnosis difficult.
Lewis only landed in the hospital after she called 911 complaining of shortness of breath and stomach cramps. The woman was transported to the Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta where she agreed to the surgery.
"This thing was going to continue to grow," said Dr. Alan Gordon, who performed the surgery. "The good news for her was that even though it had grown a significant size, it had been doing this slowly."
Lewis is still recovering in the hospital but should be back up and walking around within a week.
"[We're] very thankful and relieved," Lewis's daughter Sarina said. "It's just so overwhelming, and I'm thankful and I'm happy she was able to make it."