Weighing 500 kg, Egyptian woman to be airlifted to Mumbai for obesity surgery

Mumbai doctor’s two-month-long efforts bore fruit with just one tweet to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who, from her hospital bed, arranged a medical visa within 20 hours

Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty
Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty

Here is a story of the kind of miracles a doctor can perform for a patient in and out of the operation theatre. World’s heaviest woman, Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, an Egyptian national who has not stepped out of her house in Cairo for the past 20 years, will soon be flying to Mumbai for an obesity surgery in a specially arranged chartered flight.

This miracle has been made possible only because of gargantuan efforts by Mumbai’s obesity surgeon Dr Muffazal Lakdawala and timely intervention of India’s external affair minister Sushma Swaraj.

Sometime in the month of October, Eman’s sister got in touch with Lakdawala and explained him her sister’s plight. Thirty-six-year-old Eman, who weighs 500 kilos, is reported to be world’s heaviest woman and has been fighting obesity since childhood.

“For 20 years, she didn’t step out of her house. Her family had tried many doctors there for medical help but were denied. It was her sister who got in touch with me after she heard of me from a family friend, who I had operated for obesity,” Lakdawala told My Medical Mantra.

After her family sent all her medical reports, the doctor started sending request for monetary help to his friends. “The family is poor and cannot afford the cost of a private chartered flight to Mumbai from Cairo. While we asked the family to make her passport and arrange for visa, I started collecting funds,” said Lakdawala.

However, after having collected funds and made her travel arrangements, they faced a huge hurdle. Since Eman was not able to step out of her house and travel to the Indian embassy in Egypt, she was denied the Indian visa.

“It was like a roadblock for us. Embassy refused to budge and we needed visa for her to fly to Mumbai,” Lakdawala said.

An exasperated Lakdawala then sent a tweet to Swaraj as a last ditch effort. And to his and everyone’s surprise, despite herself being hospitalised, Swaraj, responded to the tweet and within 20 hours, the Indian embassy in Cairo gave Eman a medical visa. Swaraj is currently admitted to the AIIMS hospital in Delhi and is expected to undergo a kidney transplant operation this weekend.

“I am mighty impressed with the promptness shown by the minister even though she is fighting kidney failure and is hospitalised. Thanks to her, Eman will now be in Mumbai by next week,” said Lakdawala.

The doctor said Eman was born weighing five kilograms and was diagnosed with elephantiasis (a condition in which a limb or other body part swells due to a parasitic infection).

He explained that her condition is also described as ‘disruption of the glands’, which means the body stores and retains more water than it should.

“At the age of 11, Eman had gained immense weight because of which she could not stand up on her own, and would crawl on the knees,” said Lakdawala.

Lakdawala is a well-known obesity surgeon who had operated on politicians like Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Venkaiah Naidu.

  • Jenny

    Good luck to surgeon and patient !!!

  • Najmuddin Bhanpurawala

    Wonderful act of kindness…good luck..

  • Egyptian Citizen

    full respect to the Dr and the Minister; thanks a million!

  • Rukhsana Abbas Attarwala

    Wishing you Doctor all the best god is always with good people and will help you and thanks to mimic terms also

  • V.Srinivasan

    Oh, God. Our prayers and best wishes both for the Doctor and the lady.

  • Ravi

    Best wishes Doctor for a successful operation and care.

    Funny how inhuman are the babus in the MEA who cannot use commonsense to over-ride their manufactured legislation. If it was really not possible how come the Minister gave the visa without much ado. Surely the babus are also born with reasoning ability like the rest of us.

  • S. Hariharan Nair

    This shows the magnanimity of our Sushmaji. Though she is bed ridden in a hospital, she has shown kindness and compassion for a fellow human being from another country by removing all hurdles so that Eman is able to come over to Bombay for the surgery. The entire credit goes to Dr. Lakdawala who went out of the way to make the impossible possible. Our prayers are for Sushmaji and Eman and best wishes for the Dr. for a successful surgery. God bless those who bless others. S.Hariharan Nair

  • sophie wilde

    Very best wishes to Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty and have a speedy recovery.What a great Dr !

  • sophie wilde

    Very best wishes and have a speedy recovery Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, well done to the Drs and his team who will be helping this lady have a new lease of life.

  • balarabe muhammed Roni

    Good luck Allah ya bada sa’a

  • Madhav Kapadia

    Noble work by surgeon. God Bless you and the patient.

  • Irene Hirschman

    Good luck to this poor girl, good luck to this courageous Dr. At her weight it’s a hard choice,do it and you are damned and don’t do it and you are damned. Let’s all hope that he does it and all comes out well. The Elephantiasis is resolved, and the Thytoid is medicated, and her weight is minimized

  • Yes,Asian doctor’s can do it for you.

  • Debbie Chavez

    I pray for this woman who’s fighting for her life may God bless this doctor that his hands be anointed and everything’s goes well God bless you all

  • Casey lirette

    Prayers for this beautiful person… God bless you, Amen

  • Audrey

    I pray in the name of Jesus Christ that She get the help to resolve her situation. Touch the hands of the dr’s and nurses that she may get her healing.

  • Theresa Stout

    God bless this poor woman!!! I pray the surgery is successful cause she needs her life back. May God be with her thru these trying times…..

  • Robynn W.

    God’s answer is unfolding for you Eman, this amazing dr. , your diligent sister and family, minister Swaraj and everyone else who is pulling together to help you…are all part of the process!! Our prayers are with you, and with the surgical team. You deserve a beautiful life! God Bless You.

  • Idessa Toney

    I pray that you will have renewed health and strength after this surgery to BEGIN living a good and prosperous life. Continue to be thankful for your loving family and for this amazing doctor who recognized your plight and is willing to help. Your story is sad due to ill health; but conversely inspiring as people show concern for your well being.

  • Damion Barrett

    I live in the United States, and a member of the U.S Military! I had come across this story about this woman who is to believed the heaviest woman on earth, and the struggles she has faced all of her life.

    Throughout reading this amazing story of people coming together to help this woman on her journey to save her life, starting from minister Swaraj! To help her erase the hurdles of attaining a visa! This woman will now and forever be in my prayers as she faces her own battle of having kidney surgery!!

    Second is the amazing doctor in India that has placed his kindness at the forefront to get this woman a visa and a chartered flight, so his team of doctors and nurses can begin to help this woman begin a new lease on life! During this Christmas season! Stories like this makes me humble to know such kindness still exist! That in the United States is filled with darkness!

    My prayers are with everyone that played a part in this movement of kindness!! God bless you all! And God is with you Dr. Lakdawaka!! And with you Minister Swaraj!!

  • Ms Bea

    This is truly an act of God and his Grace . It warms my heart to know that we are acting in the manner in which God wants us to. There are so many wonderful testimonials happening here. Please let’s all take a moment to just thank God for what he has given the Doctor and the Doctor is carrying out God’s wishes. Thanks Doctor for being the blessing you are.

  • Irma

    May God bless her, and the team of doctors. Prayers for a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

  • Catrine Tørnqvist Åbø

    All the best from Norway, Go Girl Go!!! Respekt <3

  • Savage Squad

    Forgive me God, however I just can’t fathom the idea of such a thing happening.