‘World’s heav­i­est woman’ to fly to In­dia for surgery

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

NEW DELHI:

An Egyp­tian who is be­lieved to be the world’s heav­i­est woman is to fly to In­dia for weight re­duc­tion surgery af­ter the coun­try’s for­eign min­is­ter per­son­ally in­ter­vened to se­cure her a visa. In­dian sur­geon Muf­fazal Lak­dawala had of­fered to carry out the pro­ce­dure free of charge af­ter hear­ing about Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, who weighs around 500 kilo­grams (1,100 pounds). But her request for a visa was ini­tially re­jected, prompt­ing Lak­dawala to tweet a request for help to In­dia’s for­eign min­is­ter Sushma Swaraj.

“She is a bundle of dis­eases. She needs surgery ur­gently,” the sur­geon said of Abd El Aty, 36, who is ex­pected to fly to the west­ern city of Mum­bai next week for the pro­ce­dure. “Her sis­ter said she hasn’t left her room in 25 years. I just thought ‘Oh my god, I have to help. I’ll do it pro bono, no prob­lem’.”

Lak­dawala said he was as­ton­ished when Swaraj, who is her­self ill in hos­pi­tal await­ing a liver trans­plant, replied to his plea within hours. Abd El Aty’s sis­ter had ap­proached him about two months ago, say­ing her sis­ter needed ur­gent med­i­cal at­ten­tion. Her fam­ily told the doc­tor that as a child she was di­ag­nosed with ele­phan­ti­a­sis, a con­di­tion that causes the limbs and other body parts to swell, leav­ing her al­most im­mo­bile.

Later she suf­fered a stroke and was ren­dered bedrid­den, trig­ger­ing a se­ries of ail­ments in­clud­ing di­a­betes, high blood pres­sure, hy­per­ten­sion and sleep ap­noea. Lak­dawala, who has op­er­ated on gov­ern­ment min­is­ters in the past, said he was ner­vous but would do all he could to make Abd El Aty com­fort­able.

“I would be ly­ing if I said I was 100 per­cent con­fi­dent. There are many chal­lenges, but I will try my level best to help her,” he told AFP by phone. Abd El Aty would need a cou­ple of months in post-surgery care in In­dia be­fore head­ing back home in Egypt, he said.

Bariatric surgery is es­sen­tially a stom­ach-shrink­ing by­pass pro­ce­dure car­ried out on those want­ing to lose ex­ces­sive weight. It is in­creas­ingly com­mon in In­dia, which has a grow­ing prob­lem with obe­sity, par­tic­u­larly in ur­ban ar­eas. In­dia is a key des­ti­na­tion for med­i­cal tourists be­cause it of­fers qual­ity ser­vices at a frac­tion of the cost of west­ern coun­tries and no wait­ing lists. — AFP

Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, who weighs around 500 kilo­grams (1,100 pounds).

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