A Chinese woman has seen her belly grow ‘uncontrollably’ in the past two years due to a mysterious condition, according to reports.
The mother-of-two named Huang Guoxian says her abdomen weighs a staggering 44 pounds and is still expanding.
The 36-year-old resident of rural Guizhou Province has made a desperate plea for help through local media after the sizable mass made it impossible for her to sleep, walk or look after her son and daughter.
The impoverished villager hopes that she could raise £3,290 with the help of the public so that she could go to a specialist to get her condition diagnosed and treated.
Ms Huang lives in the village of Dazhi of Songqi Town outside the city of Anshun. Her story was reported by local newspaper Guizhou Urban Daily this week.
The parent, who weighs 121 pounds now, claims that her belly was flat two years ago, but swelled to the current size during the period for unknown reasons.
She says the growth initially felt painful and she sought medical advice. After taking prescribed medicine, the pain went away, but her belly carried on enlarging.
The housewife has gone to various hospitals in Anshun and provincial capital Guiyang in the hope of getting treated.
Doctors discovered that she suffered from a series of illnesses, including liver cirrhosis, ovarian cancer, as well as an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen and chest.
However, they were unable to identify the reason behind the enormous growth.
Ms Huang recalls that one doctor tried to remove the excess abdominal fluid from her, but once the operation finished, her belly began to develop again.
Another medic speculated that she could have had a benign tumour.
Ms Huang is often mistaken for a pregnant woman with twins or triplets on the bus, and the mass has made her temperamental.
She complained to the journalists: ‘I would become enraged by the slightest movement.’
Ms Huang adds that she has not been able to sleep properly for a long time. She says she either sleeps by sitting on the bed or leaning against cushions.
She can’t walk far or stand for a long time, either.
Her husband lives and works in a big city to support the family financially. As a result, her elder son, who is 10 years old, has to do most of the housework.
The local government and Good Samaritans have been donating money to Ms Huang to help her cover her medical bills, according to the report.
A local hospital recently informed her that its specialists were willing to treat her, but a possible operation would cost 30,000 yuan (£3,290).
Ms Huang hopes that she can raise the sum soon.
She told Guizhou Urban Daily: ‘I used to do homework very quickly, but now my big belly has seriously impacted my normal life.
‘My two children are still young. Their grandmother and grandfather are helping to look after them now.
‘I hope to recover and become healthy as soon as possible.’