FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Hope Mavridis believes in miracles. She said her doctor helped make her miracle possible.
“I have a love for Dr. Davis that I can’t explain,” Mavridis said. “She is an angel.”
They have been through an experience that has bonded them for life. They greeted each other with a joyful hug – at a medical office that has brought a lot of scary times and bad news.
Mavridis is a survivor of endometrial and ovarian cancer. She's expecting a baby in November, something she thought wouldn't be possible because of her cancer treatment.
She came back to Piedmont Fayette Hospital to celebrate the good news with Dr. Mitzie-Ann Ann.
“I literally cried when I heard the news,” Dr. Davis said. “Hope is one of my miracle patients.”
Her story is remarkable, not only because ovarian cancer is often detected late and causes more deaths than all other gynecologic cancers, but because her team of surgeons, doctors, and nurses at Piedmont Fayette Hospital were tremendous advocates for her and helped preserve her fertility.
Mavridis is 31. She received her cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2020. She had been experiencing some unusual bleeding, weight gain, and discomfort over the past year, but the symptoms always stopped.
When the bleeding started in 2020 and didn’t stop, an ultrasound was performed. Her uterus was filled with tumors and one ovary, which should be the size of a walnut, was the size of a small melon. A biopsy was performed on Mavridis' endometrial lining and it confirmed her cancer diagnosis.
Within a week, Mavridis was having exploratory surgery with gynecologic oncologist Dr. Davis.
Dr. Davis told Mavridis that she had been thinking about her and the procedure over the weekend. She knew that Mavridis was a newlywed, who was hoping to have children. Dr. Davis told her that if she saw no signs of the cancer spreading, she would leave one ovary, fallopian tube and the uterus.
A week later, after determining that the ovary that had been removed tested positive for cancer, Dr. Davis informed Mavridis they would have to go back in and remove everything. The surgery was scheduled for four weeks later.
Mavridis was put on a hormone in the interim. Prior to the procedure, she asked her gynecologist to perform one more ultrasound to make sure nothing had changed. She didn’t want to give up on the chance of having a baby without one more look. The ultrasound came back clear.
The night before the scheduled hysterectomy Hope called Dr. Davis with an unusual request.
“Hope told me she felt like the Lord was telling her she shouldn’t have her organs removed,” Dr. Davis remembered. “She asked if there was any other way we could treat it.”
“I respect medicine and whatever Dr. Davis ultimately thought was best; but I knew I had to tell her what I felt,” Mavridis said.
Dr. Davis couldn’t make a promise other than she would try, knowing how much Mavridis wanted to carry a pregnancy and be a mom one day.
“I woke up from surgery and asked, ‘Is it all gone?’" Mavridis asked.
A nurse shared the news she’d prayed for. She said, “No, Dr. Davis left your uterus and your ovaries.”
“Dr. Davis had the faith to leave it and give me a chance,” Mavridis cried tears of joy. “She saved my life and saved our dream to have a baby.”
Mavridis and her husband can’t wait to welcome their baby in November. The ultrasound is displayed in Dr. Davis’s office. It represents what is possible in difficult circumstances.
“I’m so happy that Hope had a chance,” Dr. Davis said. “I’m thrilled that she is about to be a mom.”
Dr. Davis said it's important for women to learn the symptoms and risk factors for gynecologic cancers and continue to have regular physicals and gynecological examinations. She hopes women will listen to their bodies.
“There is a lot going on below the belt,” she said.
Dr. Davis said postmenopausal bleeding is one of the most common symptoms. Bloating, loss of appetite, change of bathroom habits, and if you get full quickly after you eat are also other symptoms of gynecologic cancers.
She added hopes families will utilize the HPV vaccine that prevents these types of cancers.