Mumbai is preparing to greet the world's heaviest woman, weighing around 500 kgs, who is travelling to the city to undergo bariatric surgery.
Eman Ahmed, who lives in the port city of Alexandria in Egypt, hasn't been able to leave her bed for over a decade due to severe weight gain since she turned 11. At 36, she's bed-ridden with a host of diseases like hypertension, pulmonary disorder, depression, diabetes and asthma. She's also had a stroke, which left her with limited locomotive faculties. Due to her immense weight, she was also forced to drop out of school.
Last month, Mumbai-based bariatric surgeon and philanthropist Dr Muffi Lakdawala tweeted at External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj urging her to facilitate a medical visa for Ahmed, so that she could be flown to India for treatment. The permit, which was denied earlier to her, was issued promptly once the minister intervened.
The next hurdle was to figure out a way to transport Ahmed to India, since no airline was equipped to take such a risk. Since there are no direct flights between Cairo and Mumbai, a private chartered flight seemed to be the only means of transporting Ahmed.
With this obstacle overcome, Saifee Hospital on Mumbai's Charni Road is now getting ready to welcome this most unusual patient.
According to a report in the Mumbai Mirror, a "one-bed hospital" is being built on the premises as separate wing to treat Ahmed. It will be equipped with an operating theatre, intensive care unit, a doctors' rooms, two rest rooms, an attendants' room and a video conferencing room. The entire structure is being built on the ground floor of the hospital at an estimated cost of ₹2 crores.
Every part of the 3,000-ft facility is being constructed, keeping in mind Ahmed's weight, such as extra wide doors and beds. A team of specialists, including a consultant bariatric surgeon, a cardiologist, a cardiac surgeon, an endocrinologist, a chest physician, two intensivists and three anaesthetists, will attend Ahmed while the surgery is going on. She will spend about six months in the hospital recovering from it.
Ahmed's family won't have to pay either for her treatment or post-operative care. Dr Lakdawala has been mobilising funds to move Ahmed and have her treated in India. The exact date of her arrival in India is not known yet, but the construction at the hospital is expected to be complete by the end of this month.
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