Eman Ahmed from Egypt is perhaps the heaviest woman in the world. At age 36, she weighs an estimated 500* kg and is in urgent need of medical aid.
Her sister, Shaimaa Ahmed had reached out to several doctors across the globe over the last couple of years for medical guidance. In October 2016, Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala, a surgeon from India took the initiative to reach out and help.
Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala, is a laparoscopic surgeon, specializing in bariatric surgery and GI oncology surgery. He is the founder of CODS - Centre for Obesity and Digestive Surgery, Mumbai. He is also the Chairman of Institute of Minimal Access Surgical Sciences and Research Centre, Saifee Hospital,Mumbai and Medeor Hospital, Dubai. He has performed surgeries in almost every country in the asian continent.
Shaimaa Ahmed said she was very moved to hear from Dr. Lakdawala and he has brought new hope to her sister.
There are many complexities involved in the case. According to Eman’s family, she hasn’t been able to move around or leave the house for the past 25 years.
When Eman had difficulty getting a visa to travel to India, Dr. Lakdawala wrote to the Hon’ble External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj and explained the nature of the case. Even though the Hon’ble Minister was hospitalized at the time for kidney treatment, she was still kind enough to intervene. Thanks to the efforts of the Hon’ble Minister, Eman got a visa.
Eman currently suffers from severe lymphedema, and water retention as a result of her obesity and hypothyroidism. His current prognosis reads as follows: ‘Eman is a high risk patient. She has already suffered a stroke resulting in paralysis of her right arm and leg, she cannot speak, has type 2 diabetes, hypertension, has severe obstructive and restrictive lung disease, gout and is at a very high risk of pulmonary embolism.’
According to Dr. Lakdawala, the case is complex and Eman has a long journey ahead of her. Eman will need to undergo a series of diagnostic tests conducted by a team comprising of endocrinologist, cardiologist, physician, dietician, anesthesiologist, neurologist and nephrologist, who will ascertain every risk parameter in her treatment.
She will be put on a very low-calorie supervised diet to downsize her risks and reduce her water retention initially.
After the initial course of treatment, when she has an optimal medical risk she will undergo bariatric surgery. She will need a series of bariatric procedures at optimal times over the next few years to achieve best results.
Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala is also putting together a fundraising campaign as the costs of rehabilitating Eman starting with her travel from Alexandria to Mumbai and her medical treatment over the next few years can be prohibitive.
While Dr. Lakdawala has personally taken the case on a pro bono basis, he has stated that Eman’s treatment is a process and not one single event. Even her transport needs will have to be highly customized as and when she is in a position to travel. In Eman’s current state, movement has become next to impossible. If she has to travel to India, special arrangements will have to be made for ground as well as air transport.
While a bariatric procedure is often wrongly perceived as a cosmetic surgery, surgeons state that it has demonstrably proved to be a lifesaving procedure for highly obese patients.