Less than a week of being admitted to Saifee Hospital in Mumbai for treatment, Eman Ahmed, the world's heaviest woman weighing around 500 kgs, has shown a remarkable improvement in her condition by losing 30 kgs.
The Egyptian national, who is under the supervision of bariatric surgeon Dr Muffi Lakdawala, was issued a medical visa to travel to India after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj intervened on her behalf. The matter had been brought to her notice on Twitter by Dr Lakdawala, who also identifies as a philanthropist and has been proactively raising funds to enable Ahmed's expensive medical treatment.
The 36-year-old Ahmed, who weighed about 5 kg when she was born, suddenly started putting on weight when she turned 11. Her condition worsened quickly, leading to multiple health disorders and preventing her from leaving home for the next 25 years.
In the interim, Ahmed has suffered a stroke, leading to severe speech impairment, she has diabetes, kidney disorder, hypertension, thyroid malfunction, water retention, obstructive and restrictive lung disease, gout and is at a very high risk of pulmonary embolism. These are only some of the long list of illnesses afflicting this young woman.
Her arrival in Mumbai had to be meticulously planned too. Since ordinary airlines were not equipped to fly her down, she had to be transported in a cargo plane. At Saifee Hospital, an estimated ₹2 crore was spent on building a separate ward for her to be treated in. The doors, operation theatre, recovery room and all other ancillary departments had to be constructed according to specifications of her weight and size.
These months of planning and hard work finally seem to be paying off. In the last 5 days, Ahmed has started losing weight and can lift her arms now. Earlier she was paralysed, partly due to the stroke and also her body weight, and couldn't move freely. After regular physiotherapy sessions, she is able to manoeuvre her arms and blow kisses at the doctors and attendants. However, unused to any form of exercise, she is also easily exhausted, according to a detailed medical bulletin in The Indian Express.
Ahmed is also on a strict 1,200 calorie diet and is being treated for sleeping disorders. Whereas earlier she could only manage about an hour's sleep, now she can rest for several hours at a stretch with the help of a monitoring device. The sores on her back, caused by years of inactivity, are also healing after she was laid on a water mattress, though her vitals are being closely observed by a team of doctors. Reports said Ahmed is keeping herself distracted by watching television and has become a fan of Bollywood star Salman Khan, who may meet her in the coming days.
Until some of the fluid from her body is drained away and her weight is brought down by some 100 kg, the doctors cannot risk putting her under the knife. The surgery is expected to take place in three weeks.
Also on HuffPost