Eman Ahmed, the world’s heaviest woman who made news when she arrived in Mumbai earlier this year for a weight-loss surgery, passed away in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Officials from the Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, where Eman was being treated, confirmed the news. She had celebrated her 37th birthday only a week ago.
Here are ten things to know about Eman Ahmed’s struggle and surgery:
1) Ahmed weighed about 5kg when she was born and started to put on weight by the age of 11. She had to discontinue schooling after Class 5 due to lethargy caused by thyroid problems. The continuous weight gain restricted her lower extremities and she started to crawl instead of walking.
2) In 2014, when she weighed 300kg, Ahmed had high cholesterol levels and a sudden stroke left her paralysed, impacting her speech and leaving her completely bedridden.
3) By 2016, Ahmed weighed about 500kg and was diagnosed with severe lymphedema and water retention, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hypothyroidism. She has severe obstructive and restrictive lung disease, gout and was at a very high risk of pulmonary embolism.
4) After repeated attempts to avail medical aid from doctors in Egypt and Greece, Abd El Aty’s sister Shaimaa started an online campaign and wrote to noted Indian laparoscopy surgeon, Dr Muffazal Lakdawala for help.
5) Ahmed, who lay in a specially created bed by Egyptian artisans, traveled in EgyptAir freighter aircraft Airbus 300-600 to Mumbai and was brought to Saifee Hospital into a custom-modified truck, covered by all sides for security purposes.
6) At the Saifee Hospital, Ahmed was housed in a specially created 1,000 sq ft first-floor facility, which used to be the accounts office previously. A ground floor structure, created by Saifee for Ahmed was demolished by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) due to lack of permission.
7) Before her surgery, Ahmed underwent a series of medical tests, including routine body check-up and a complete body profile test. Doctors also did a special gene study for the 91 different types of biomarkers isolated with obesity-related syndrome. Ahmed also had to lose more than 100 pounds before the surgery through a protein-heavy diet and medicines to curb water retention.
8) After the surgery, Eman’s sister Shaimaa fell out with the doctors at the Saifee hospital, alleging that they were lying about her weight loss. Shaimaa released a video on social media, claiming that Eman suffered three strokes, was not able to talk and has pale blue skin. She further accused the doctors of medical negligence and said that she doesn’t trust them anymore. The doctors, however, insisted that the treatment was going as planned and alleged that Shaimaa had given Eman water against their strict instructions.
9) VPS Healthcare, a multi-specialty hospital in Abu Dhabi came forward, on Shaimaa’s request to continue Eman’s treatment. In early May this year, a medical evacuation team from VPS Healthcare visited Eman and airlifted her to the hospital in Dubai. Doctors at Saifee handed over Eman’s medical documents as part of the procedure to sign over Eman’s treatment to doctors from VPS Healthcare.
10) In late May, it was reported that Eman Ahmed was recovering and showing signs of improvement at Dubai’s Burjeel hospital. Doctors from VPS Healthcare lead Eman’s treatment, as a multi-disciplinary team of 20 doctors planning her course of recovery. For the first time in 25 years, Ahmed was able to raise her right arm which had been impacted by a stroke and feed herself, her doctors said.