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THE WAIT for Zeenath Khan who used to weigh 148 kg came to an end Wednesday when she went under the knife for a weight loss surgery, part of whose expenses were met by a crowd funding effort. The Aurangabad-based woman managed to collect Rs 1.5 lakh for a bariatric procedure with several patients who had to deal with obesity earlier contributing for it. The doctor fees and hospital charges for the procedure, which would cost around Rs 5 lakh in Mumbai, had been waived.
On Wednesday, during a one and half hour-long sleeve gastrectomy procedure, doctors reduced Zeenath’s stomach by a sizeable 80 per cent to curb her hunger and food intake. Zeenath will be kept under observation till Friday.
Her husband, a tailor, had accompanied Zeenath to Mumbai for the surgery. The 38-year-old woman had to quit her job as a teacher last year. Later, she worked at a local garment factory as a supervisor but soon she had to quit that job too when she could not stand for long hours.
Zeenath’s body mass index was 58.8 putting her in the super morbidly obese category. Her mobility had reduced and she suffered joint pain whenever she attempted to walk.
As her husband earned around Rs 3,000 a month, the family of four could not save enough for the surgery. “I managed to collect Rs 5,000 by approaching organizations and corporators in the past two months,” Zeenath had told The Indian Express in an interview on March 8.
Since then, several patients who had similar problems and undergone bariatric surgery saw her online campaign and came forward to donate in amounts of Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,500. Two anonymous donors contributed Rs 50,000 each for her proceedure. Zeenath also had a Facebook page as part of an online campaign to pool in funds.
“We have waived off the doctor fees and hospital charges for her. The consumables and pharmacy costs will come up to Rs 1.5 lakh which she managed to crowd fund,” said Dr Ramen Goel, the bariatric surgeon at Wockhardt Hospital.
Zeenath is expected to lose 70-80 kgs in the coming year, Dr Goel said. She will be kept on a high protein and fibre diet and will require liquid feeds for the first few days.
According to doctors, her family has a history of obesity and she suffers from a genetic disorder. “Zeenath is suffering from genetic obesity, like 60 per cent of obese patients, and such patients cannot lose weight just by lifestyle modifications. They need medical intervention,” said Goel.
Zeenath’s nine-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son are currently in Aurangabad waiting for her to return home. “I plan to resume work after the surgery,” Zeenath had said.