Unborn twin has been growing inside this woman for 45 years
When 45-year-old Jenny Kavanagh visited doctors to have a contraceptive coil implanted, doctors discovered an undeveloped unborn twin growing inside her. The twin was discovered when medics spotted a 10cm mass growing in Kavanagh's left ovary during an ultrasound.
The discovery contained a face, an eye, a tooth, and long black hair just like Kavanagh's. The Twickenham, London native said:
"I feel very lucky that they found it and removed it before it killed me. I try not to think of it too much because I don't want to feel sad about it. If I'm honest, I did feel sad when I first saw it, because of the size and weight of it, it had already been likened to a baby. But I try not to feel sad about it. I try to remember that it had no heart and no brain. And that it would have almost certainly killed me if they hadn't found it and removed it. But in one sense there was grief, mixed with happiness."
The divorced mother-of-two admits that she never visited a gynecologist both times she was pregnant. However, she insists that she had no problems with either of her pregnancies.
When doctors scanned Kavanagh's abdomen and found the 10cm dark mass in May, the woman was worried despite the fact that her doctor assured her it was unlikely to be cancerous. She said:
"I thought the worst. He advised me it would have to come out regardless. If it twisted or ruptured it could kill me."
Kavanagh went into surgery 11 days later to remove the mass at The Mediterranean Hospital of Cyprus. The doctors used Kavanagh's phone to take a photo of the mass to show it to her after surgery. They explained to her that it was a mass of cells which had been inside her since birth. She said:
"The whole thing was so surreal I think I needed to see them to get my head around it all. We cannot know for sure that it was an unborn twin, but the doctors said it most likely was a stem cell that I have had from birth. It is possible that there were twin embryos and one enveloped the other. The fact that it had long black hair - just like mine - a face, with one eye and one baby tooth makes it more believable."
Kavanagh went on to explain the emotions she felt when seeing the image on her phone screen. She said:
"It's difficult to describe how I felt when I saw it. I felt shocked, very scared, horrified and it felt like an alien was inside me. The doctor said it was like an ectopic pregnancy but that the ovary protected it. He said there would have been two embryos and that I was the stronger embryo and enclosed the weaker one."
Kavanagh's mother was saddened by the image of what she considered to be her unborn child. Kavangh said:
"When I showed the picture to my mum she was really sad - saw it as her unborn child, and my unborn twin."
Watch this video to learn more about ectopic pregnancies:
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