Eman Ahmed needs 2 years to reduce weight to 100 kg from 500 kg: Doctors

Eman Ahmed (36) has a long road ahead, say doctors, to battle sleep apnea, hypothyroid, diabetes, hypertension, kidney problems, fluid retention and obesity.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Updated: February 17, 2017 5:52 pm
Eman Ahmed at Saifee Hospital. Eman Ahmed at Saifee Hospital.

Her body mass index is 252, ten times more than the normal mark, and doctors predict two more years before her weight can be brought down to 100 kg from 500 kg. Eman Ahmed (36) has a long road ahead, say doctors, to battle sleep apnea, hypothyroid, diabetes, hypertension, kidney problems, fluid retention and most importantly obesity before she can sit and eat on her own. On Monday, she was put on a high protein and fibre diet to systematically reduce her weight. It will be a month before any bariatric procedure can be carried out. Before that, she is to undergo genetic tests for 91 genes such as leptin gene deficiency, FTO gene, and Bardet Biedl syndrome that doctors suspect may be responsible for her obesity.

WATCH VIDEO | World’s Heaviest Woman Eman Ahmed Expresses Desire To Meet Salman Khan

“Nobody in her family has a history of obesity. So we need to probe genetic disorder,” said her treating doctor and bariatric surgeon Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, adding that in the first six months, efforts to reduce at least 200 kg will be made. “We want to ensure that when she returns home, she is able to sit in a chair and eat by herself,” he said. Eman may require to return for a second surgery two years later to reduce another 200 kg. In that surgery, her large intestine will be by-passed and only the small intestine will be retained. The doctors hope to bring her down to less than 100 kg eventually.

Eman, now sort of a celebrity within Saifee Hospital, was brought to India from Alexandria, Egypt, on February 11 in a cargo freighter in a coordinated effort between the two governments that involved participation of local police, doctors, the external affairs ministry and airport authorities. She is housed in a freshly prepared room on the first floor of the hospital’s annex building, where she has been watching movies of Shahrukh, Salman and Aamir Khan to pass time. “There is a lot of change in her in the past three days. There is hope,” said her sister Shaimaa Ahmed.

Eman was born weighing five kg. By 11, her schoolkids had started teasing her over her growing weight, forcing her to stay indoors. According to Ahmed, her weight increased over the years. She underwent four surgeries of legs for excessive fluid retention. Doctors thought she had elephantiasis.

Two years ago, Eman became bed-bound. Her mother and sister have to roll her over to give her a bath, and feed her on bed. She also suffered a stroke that caused paralysis in her right arms and leg.Her father passed away six months ago, and her mother stitches clothes to earn a living. The family cannot raise enough money and Ahmed has been running a Facebook campaign for years to draw attention to her sister’s condition.

WATCH | World’s Heaviest Woman Eman Ahmed Has Already Lost 30 Kg In 5 Days

Now, Eman’s team of doctors has increased to 16 while a separate team of eight nurses and staffers look after her all day.

She is over four foot broad, as large as a queen sized bed, and will be put in an iron cradle to move to the washroom. Currently, a team of staffers is required to move her. “In a few days, we hope to reduce 70 to 100 kg by draining out excessive fluids from her body,” bariatric surgeon Dr Aparna Bhasker said. Fluid collection has made Eman’s skin as hard as a stone, doctors say.

Once she has lost enough weight, she will undergo surgery. Her room has an intensive care facility, along with oxygen cylinder, emergency support equipment and an attendant’s room. She suffers from high potassium in her body that means her kidney is not functioning properly. “With obesity come kidney disorders. Pressure on other organs increases too,” said nephrologist Dr Hemal Shah, who will treat her.

So far, Rs 7.18 lakh has been pooled in through crowd funding. The cost of transporting her, however, totalled Rs 83 lakh and Lakdawala is running a campaign for funds. Even as the cost of her treatment runs high, Saifee hospital has decided to treat her for free. In Egypt, a firm NOSCO provided crane and cradle to transport her for free, so did Horus, another company that provided logistics in cargo transport for free. NOSCO prepared a special torque bed that could maintain gravitational pressure in air for a safe flight.

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