A woman who turned to doctors for help after spending years struggling to lose weight was left horrified to learn that she had a 20lb tumor filled with hair and teeth growing around her ovary.
Jaimi Conwell, 28, a nurse from Texas, struggled with her weight for years, explaining that she was unable to slim down no matter how hard she tried, despite putting herself on a range of strict diets – including calorie cutting and keto – as well as exercising twice a day.
To make matters worse, Jaimi began rapidly gaining even more weight two years ago, which was coupled with a host of worrying new symptoms, including nausea.
Concerned, she decided to seek advice from doctors, who eventually revealed the bizarre cause of her condition: an enormous 20lb ovarian tumor that had completely engulfed her right ovary, having been steadily growing inside her body for Jaimi’s entire life.
Now, Jaimi is speaking out about her shocking diagnosis, while revealing the dramatic physical transformation that she underwent after having the tumor removed – enabling her to shed a staggering 103lbs in a matter of months.
A 28-year-old nurse has revealed her horror at learning that she had a 20lb tumor filled with hair and teeth growing around her right ovary
Jaimi Conwell, from Texas, was diagnosed with a teratoma in March 2021 and she’s now speaking out about her condition, revealing she lost 103lbs after having the growth removed
The nurse originally sought medical help after struggling to lose weight for years; an explorative procedure revealed the 20lb tumor that was growing around her right ovary
Explaining her decision to ask doctors for help after so many years of weight battles, the nurse said she only did so when she began to experience other symptoms that she realized were likely an indication that something was wrong.
‘I would bend over to tie my shoe and get nauseous, which I thought was normal for bigger people,’ she said. ‘I got my blood count checked to make sure everything was normal and my white blood cells came back abnormal.’
Doctors recommended that Jaimi undergo an explorative procedure, which would allow them to better identify the source of her medical issues; she was placed under anesthesia for the operation, while her mother was given control over any decisions that might need to be made.
It was during this procedure that doctors found the tumor, which they decided to remove – along with Jaimi’s right ovary – over fears that the growth could have been cancerous.
‘I was placed under anesthesia, but was with my mom who I made a proxy so she could make any decisions for me,’ Jaimi recalled.
‘The doctor came in and told her I had a massive tumor in my abdomen that had engulfed my right ovary.
‘He asked if they could remove it and my mom agreed, so I had the tumor along with my right ovary removed.
Jaimi spent years trying and failing to lose weight; despite trying several diets and workouts, she could never shift the pounds (left) and later learned it was because of the tumor. Since having it removed, she’s shed 103lbs (right)
In March 2021, Jaimi (pictured before her surgery) began experiencing other symptoms, including nausea, which prompted her to go to the doctor
Blood tests revealed that Jaimi (seen recently) had an abnormal white blood cell count and doctors later learned this was because of her tumor, which had been growing for years
Jaimi had to have her right ovary removed along with the tumor and admits she was devastated at the thought that this might prevent her from conceiving children
‘After I woke up, I took a walk with my mom and I could see the worry in her face, so I knew something wasn’t right.
What are ovarian teratomas and WHY do they contain teeth and hair?
Ovarian teratomas come from germ cells, which form human eggs and can create hair, teeth and bone, among other structures.
They are believed to be present at birth, but are often not discovered until later in life.
They are a rare form of germ cell tumor and are usually diagnosed in girls and young women up to their early 20s.
They are either classed as immature because the cancer cells are at a very early stage of development, or mature (also known as a dermoid cyst) because the growth is benign.
Most immature teratomas of the ovary are cured, even if they are diagnosed at an advanced stage.
‘She told me about the tumor and that they were unsure if it was benign.
‘I was in so much shock, that I can’t remember how I was thinking or feeling at the time. At one point though, I remember thinking: “Am I going to die? Did I even live the life I wanted to?”‘
Although she was stunned, Jaimi agreed with the choice to remove her right ovary as multiple tests showed how dangerous the tumor was.
Eventually, she was diagnosed with a teratoma tumor – a slow-growing tumor that had been growing her entire life.
Because of the size of the 20lb tumor, doctors believe that it overtook all the nutrients she was giving her body in order to grow.
‘I was in shock, as that’s like having three kids inside of you,’ Jaimi said. ‘[I was told] that it was also growing teeth, which was an absolute shock.
‘It also grew hair and I think that was more disgusting for me than anything.’
While doctors have not been able to confirm what caused the tumor to begin growing, Jaimi says they believe that her mother may have conceived a twin when she got pregnant with Jaimi.
That fetus may have then turned into the growth that was found on Jaimi’s ovary.
‘They said it could be due to a number of things and as my mom, grandfather and aunties are twins, maybe I had a twin in my mom’s womb,’ Jaimi explained.
While Jaimi was relieved to have had the tumor removed, she confessed that she was left terrified that having her ovary removed would hamper her future attempts to conceive children.
Ovarian teratomas like Jaimi’s (pictured) come from germ cells, which form human eggs and can create hair, teeth and bone, among other structures
Jaimi decided to upload her transformation to TikTok, after her sister said she should share her weight loss journey
‘At first, I thought that [having my right ovary removed] meant that I couldn’t have kids and I was devastated. All I have ever wanted was to have kids and start a big family,’ she said.
‘I was so depressed and crying all the time, until I saw my OBGYN who assured me that all my hormones and eggs will go to my left ovary.
‘I shouldn’t have any issues getting pregnant, but not being able to have kids is still heavy in the back of my mind.’
Armed with the knowledge that the tumor was likely the reason she had failed to lose weight so far, she returned to her diet and exercise regime, eating protein shakes, fish, chicken and salads.
One year on, she has lost 103lbs and now weighs 147lbs.
Jaimi decided to upload her transformation to TikTok, after her sister said she should share her weight loss journey.
In a clip, which has received 1.8 million views and over 437,000 likes, she shows off her transformation.
She starts with a video of herself before losing the weight, as she lip syncs: ‘If I get pretty one day, it’s over for you b****es.’
As she cuts to a clip revealing her transformation, she lip syncs: ‘I would just like to announce, that it is now over for you b****es.’
‘You’re so pretty,’ one viewer commented, followed by a love heart emoji.
Another person added: ‘You were beautiful before and beautiful now.’
‘It really is over for me,’ someone else said.
One person wrote: ‘Why’s my glow up passing me?’
‘You lowkey look like Kylie Jenner to me,’ another viewer said.
Someone else commented: ‘Naaahhhh comment section tripping, your transformation is insaneeee.’ [sic]