New Delhi: In October this year, a 36-year-old from Egypt was declared the world's heaviest woman. At 500 kg, Iman Ahmad Abdulati has been bed-ridden for the last 25 years due to her size and is unable to move or even roll over on the bed.
Her family, desperately seeking medical help, were refused a visa to India for treatment. However, her doctor, Dr Muffi Lakdawala, brought it to the notice of India's external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj through Twitter.
Dr Lakdawala, a bariatric surgeon in Mumbai, tweeted Sushma Swaraj saying, “Ma'am , Eman Ahmed (Egypt) 500kgs requested me 2 save her pls help me get her a medical visa as refused thru normal process”
— Dr Muffi Lakdawala (@DrMuffi) December 5, 2016
The minister, who herself is being treated for kidney failure in Delhi's AIIMS hospital, was quick to respond to the tweet. She replied saying, "Thanks for bringing this to my notice. We will definitely help her."
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) December 6, 2016
Iman was diagnosed with elephantiasis soon after she was born. Her birth weight was a staggering 5 kilograms.
Elephantiasis is a parasitic infection that causes extreme swelling in a person's limbs and arms.
Physicians have also described Iman's condition as a 'disruption of the glands', meaning her body stores and retains more water than it should.
Because of her heavy weight even as a baby, Iman learned to get around using her hands. At 11 years of age, she had become too heavy and couldn't stand to support her weight, which is why she crawled to get around the house.
Iman suffered a cerebral stroke when she was in primary school and has been bed-ridden ever since. She had to drop out of school, but her weight didn't stop increasing.
Her family appealed to the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for help, afer which, it seems, they reached out to Dr Lakdawala, who is the founder of the Centre for Obesity and Digestive Surgery.
According to The Economic Times, among Dr Lakdawala's more well-known patients are union minister Nitin Gadkari and Venkaiah Naidu, industrialist Dilip Piramal, politicians Anil Deshmukh and Nitin Raut and Bollywood star Salman Khan's mother Salma.