In a shocking case, a British woman died after her doctor initially mistook a nearly 5-inch tumor in her body as proof that she was pregnant, according to USA Today.
Demi Wright, a 22-year-old woman, was admitted to a maternity ward after she complained of pain in her side last November. The reason for this catastrophic mistake, Gazette-News reports, was her doctor’s misdirected belief that Wright’s body showed the presence of hormones similar to those found in the bodies of pregnant women.
It was only later that doctors realized that the hormones found in the young woman’s body were actually being emitted by a 12cm (5-inch) tumor. Although Wright was later shifted from the maternity ward and diagnosed with terminal adenocarcinoma, an aggressive form of cancer, her health deteriorated too quickly in the days to follow.
The young woman succumbed to cancer three weeks later, leaving her family and friends completely devastated.
What the British woman actually had was molar pregnancy, according to medical experts. Speaking to the Huffington Post, Dr. Helen Webberley said that although Wright’s doctors should have been more careful while diagnosing her, the reasons which could have led to the confusion are nonetheless understandable.
“Initially, a molar pregnancy acts in the same way as a conventional pregnancy, tests are positive due to the release of the HDG hormone and there is a growth in the uterus. It is only when the patient comes for their 12-week scan that a molar pregnancy is detected.”
The young woman’s case, according to experts, was especially unfortunate because very few molar pregnancies turn out to be cancer.
“The cells need to be removed and most women can expect a full recovery. However, close follow-up is needed because there is a small chance of developing a type of cancer, as appears to be the case with this patient.”
Demi’s family and friends remember the young woman as an “exceptional talent” who had an “infectious smile.” One of her teachers at Colchester University said that the young woman will always be remembered for her talents and her “bubbly and cheerful” personality.
“Demi was a great actress with a beautiful singing voice and was a pleasant and popular student here.
“She was hard working and obviously had a real passion for the performing arts.”
Devastated by her demise, Demi’s parents said that the young woman was cheerful even in her last hours.
“She didn’t have a bad bone in her body. She had an infectious, beautiful smile and it showed her personality off. It’s been devastating.
“When we found out it was terminal, she lifted herself up, she patted the bed and said, ‘dad, come and sit here’. She gave me a big hug and said, ‘it’s going to be okay’.
The next day, she passed away.”
Although they do not blame anyone for her death, Demi’s parents believe that the young woman could have been saved if adenocarcinoma, the form of cancer Wright was suffering from, was better understood by doctors. In this regard, Wright’s grieving family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money in her memory, as well as for donating money to cancer research. The page has already crossed its initial funding goal.
The young British woman might have lived more only if the doctors had diagnosed her properly, but cheerful as she was, Demi wouldn’t have dwelt too much on it, and neither will her family.
[Image via Shutterstock]