It’s a bit of mystery exactly how Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty of Egypt has grown to be what her family thinks is the heaviest woman in the world.
She weighs 1,100 lbs and is house and bed bound at 36 years old, relying on her family to keep her alive. In fact, she hasn’t left her home in 20 years, her condition is so bad.
Abd El Aty suffered a stroke two years ago, which impaired her speech and her ability to move, leaving her and her family with shrinking hope.
And so recently, her younger sister and caregiver, Shaimaa Ahmed, decided to do something about her sister’s situation.
Doctors in Egypt have been uncertain how to treat Abd El Aty’s excessive weight problem, and so Shaimaa started a social media campaign, to reach out further for help.
Thankfully, it worked. Shaimaa tweeted about her sister’s condition, and a surgeon in Mumbai agreed to take on her case. He and his team is now getting ready to perform weight reduction surgery.
But is it simply over-eating that has caused Abd El Aty to balloon to such a great weight? Yes and no. Her family says that the reason she is so heavy is that she suffers from a thyroid problem that makes her put on weight.
It could be the case that she suffers from an extreme case of hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism happens when the body doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones. The normal balance of chemicals is sent out of whack with this condition, and people who suffer from it gain weight easily and find it hard to keep it off.
Other sources have other answers: they say that Abd El Aty was diagnosed with Elephatiasis at birth, a disease which causes parts of the body to swell enormously. There is no cure for it, but it can be treated to help minimize the effect on the body.
Thyroid problems are treatable with synthetic thyroid hormone, and hopefully they can help in this case.
Abd El Aty is set to fly to Mumbai for potential life-saving surgery, to be done by Muffazal Lakdawala, a bariatric surgeon at the Center for Obesity and Digestive Surgery, soon.
A wall in her home will likely have to be demolished in order to get her out, and special air travel arrangements are being made to get her to the hospital for her high risk treatment.
Lakdawala, her surgeon, is reportedly unsure that he has adequate skills to truly help Abd El Aty, but The Washington Post reports he said, ““If I can somehow use whatever God-gifted talent I have to save her,” he said, “I must try.”
Hopefully this great weight loss story will have a happy ending, like that of Mayra Rosales, who lost 400 lbs for a new take on life.