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500 kg Egyptian woman to get free weight loss treatment

Mumbai: Eman Ahmed Abdelaty, a 36-year old Egyptian woman weighing 500 kg who arrived in Mumbai on Saturday for a weight reduction programme, is to be treated free of cost. Considered the world’s heaviest person, Eman’s BMI stands at 252, against 24 of a normal person, a senior doctor said.

Eman, who reached Mumbai by an Egypt Air fully-equipped cargo flight, and was lifted by a crane to a waiting specially modified truck outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, has stepped out of her home first time in over 25 years.

“As this is a unique case, we have decided to treat it gratis till she becomes fully normal again,” said renowned bariatric surgeon and team leader Muffazal Lakdawala of Saifee Hospital on Monday.

Her transportation costs from Alexandria, Egypt, have run into around Rs 8 million which is being covered through donations and crowdfunding as the family is unable to afford the same, said the hospital CEO Huzaifa Shehabi, addressing mediapersons here.

Shehabi, describing her transportation to India as “a logistical wonder”, said he was overwhelmed at getting full cooperation from all the authorities from whom they sought help for the patient.

Accompanied by her sister Shaimaa Selim, Eman is now undergoing various tests at the hospital and the surgery is expected to be done after around a month or so, Lakdawala said.

Eman was received by the Egypt Consul-General in Mumbai, Ahmad Khalil around 4 a.m. on Saturday at the airport.

She was lifted by a crane onto a waiting truck outside the CSMIA (airport) and transported to the hospital with a police escort and an emergency ambulance in tow, around 15 km downtown.

Since the past over a month, Saifee Hospital has been making elaborate preparations for the celeb patient. It has ordered a special massive bed to bear her load, a specially made room with critical facilities and other amenities, besides appointed a team of experts.

Lakdawala explained that besides her weight, Eman is a high-risk patient with myriad medical, physical and psychological conditions, and bringing about a semblance of normalcy in her life would take at least three-four years.

“Her BMI stands at 252, against the normal person’s 24…You can imagine what we are looking at. After the first surgery, we plan to reduce around 150-200 kg in three-six months. By then, we shall be very happy if se can sit, eat on her own, use the bathroom, etc,” he elaborated.

“It is truly one of the foremost medical challenges faced by the Indian healthcare sector…,” Lakdawala remarked.

Immediately after admission last Saturday, Eman underwent a series of tests. Her actual treatment, including a specially-designed food plan, started on Monday as the medical treatment has to also deal with the overload of fluids in her system.

Later, she will be allowed to go home to Egypt and return after another two-three years for the second surgery when doctors hope to bring her weight around below-100 kg.

Asked about the causes leading to her condition, the doctor said the hospital will also undertake genetic tests to determine this since nobody in her family is suffering from such severe obesity.