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Surgeons Remove Beach Ball-Sized Tumor from Grandmother

Doris Lewis had trouble finding a hospital that would remove a tumor that had grown to the size of a beach ball, because she doesn't have insurance. Emory University Hospital Midtown did the successful surgery Tuesday.

Doris Lewis, 59, of Newton County Georgia had a tumor removed Tuesday that had grown to the size of a beach ball in recent months. Credit: Screenshot from WSB TV
Doris Lewis, 59, of Newton County Georgia had a tumor removed Tuesday that had grown to the size of a beach ball in recent months. Credit: Screenshot from WSB TV

A Newton County woman turned away by four hospitals because she didn't have insurance is recuperating after Tuesday's successful surgery to remove a painful, non-cancerous tumor that had grown to the size of a beach ball.
 
Doris Lewis, 59, told WSB TV she had been trying to get insurance since her husband died a few years ago. There was no sense of urgency until the liquid-filled tumor started growing inside her and she realized not having insurance presented a huge problem.
 
“It's getting bigger every day,” Lewis told the TV station in May. “I can feel it on my body. My heart hurts a little bit.”

Lewis said no one would do the surgery because of some miscommunication and because she didn't have insurance.
 
When the pain forced Lewis to call 911 last month, she ended up at Emory University Hospital Midtown, where a doctor told her not to worry about the cost, she would undergo surgery to have the tumor removed.

The surgeon who removed the cystic tumor told WSB the growth was attached to several of Lewis’ internal organs, including the wall of her stomach. The procedure went well, doctors said.

The growth was filled with about 28 pounds of fluid and ruptured during the procedure. 

“(We’re) very thankful and relieved. It's just so overwhelming and I'm thankful and I'm happy she was able to make it,” Lewis’ daughter Sarina told the TV station. 

Octo Slash June 16, 2014 at 08:41 AM
At some point, most of us are going to need help paying for some type of health catastrophe. I have trouble judging people on this issue.
Pam Scoggins June 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM
So glad this lady was finally helped!! Kudos to the doctors at Emory that really care about peoples health instead of $$$$ signs!! God Bless them and hope the lady has a safe & speedy recovery.
MessalineApghar June 17, 2014 at 01:06 AM
The point that everyone overlooks is that even without insurance or a means to pay for the surgery.... both the surgery and the recovery would have been less expensive to the system if handled sooner, when the tumor was smaller, & the woman both younger and in better general health.. we should all be ashamed that it was allowed to progress to 28# and attach to 3 vital organs.
janh999 June 17, 2014 at 09:50 AM
You're right MessalineApghar. Unfortunately she was unable to afford it back then either & no1 would help her. While I understand that we need to pay for medical care just like any other service, when some1 cant afford something like that what do you do but wait it out.
MessalineApghar June 27, 2014 at 09:10 AM
@ Janh999 I Disagree. If she's a citizen or legal resident, unable to pay when they first suggested surgery, and they knew it would get worse (and more expensive and more dangerous surgically) she should have been taken care of anyway, even though she couldn't pay. Either public health services like medicare & medicaid, or the hospital should have comp'd it..same as a lawyer doing pro bono

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