LEWISVILLE — For the first time in months, Sherilyn Hurdle can tie her own shoes.
"I can see my own feet!" she said with a smile. "I can breathe easier; I can eat better, without all the nausea and vomiting and reflux. Generally just better."
Without insurance and unable to qualify for Medicaid, Hurdle had been desperate to get surgery to remove a massive ovarian cyst that made her look like she was nine months pregnant.
Hurdle fell into a health coverage gap for those who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford health insurance.
Had Medicaid been expanded in Texas, she would have qualified.
Doctors told Hurdle the cyst was not an emergency. But had it ruptured, the 38-year-old single mother of two could have died.
After a News 8 report, hundreds of people donated funds for the cyst removal operation. Plano gynecologist Dr. Darrell Robins volunteered to perform the surgery.
"The one concern is that it could torque or twist, and that would be an emergency," Dr. Robins explained.
On February 13, Hurdle went under the knife at Texas Health Plano while News 8 live-tweeted the surgery.
"Wow!" was how Hurdle reacted when she saw the pictures.
The bowling ball-size cyst turned out to be borderline cancerous.
Shortly before the operation, Medicaid granted coverage for Sherilyn. No one has been able to provide an explanation why.
Dr. Robins said the surgery saved Hurdle's life.
"That doctor... he is absolutely awesome," she said. "I'm always grateful... don't take anything for granted."
Once she is completely recovered, Sherilyn Hurdle said she'll go back to work and earn a living again. She said she will never stop paying forward the goodness of strangers who helped take a giant weight off her belly... and her mind.