I watch a lot of those medical shows with my wife, and I am always intrigued by the ones with the rare medical curiosities. I could fall asleep on seeing someone set their tenth broken arm of the week, but if you give me twenty minutes on a one in a hundred million condition I am all in.
Recently, 91-year-old Estela Melendez’s husband passed. For years, the woman had a large lump on her belly, but her husband didn’t let her get it checked out. He feared that it would end up costing them too much to remove and he’d rather his wife deal with it than get the medical attention she needed.
For 60-years the tumor remained until Estela was finally able to get a doctor’s opinion on it after she became a widow. The doctors performed X-rays on the tumor and made a startling discovery that changed the way Estela looked at the world.
The growth wasn’t a tumor at all. It was an unborn fetus that Estela had been carrying inside her uterus for decades…
“The doctor said I had a tumor and that they needed to operate on me,” Meléndez told CNN.
But after doing a little more research, they learned it wasn’t a tumor. The growth was a calcified fetus that had died in the old woman’s uterus back when she was in her 30s.
“Can you imagine? More than 60 years!” said her nephew Luis Meléndez, who was baffled by the news. “I wonder how she never felt bad once the fetus died inside of her.” Estela was never able to see a doctor about her large growth until she lost her husband of 74 years, a poor fisherman named Manuel Gonzalez.
Throughout their entire marriage, Estela and Manuel tried to have children. But they were unable. If only he had let her get checked, they might have learned that there was a problem in her uterus.
If medical intervention had happened back when she was in her 30s, perhaps Manuel would not have died with regrets. But as it happened, he died regretting he didn’t have children.