Mumbai’s Saifee Hospital has decided to discharge Egyptian national Eman Ahmed this coming fortnight following differences between the family and the team of doctors treating her. Believed to be the world’s heaviest woman, Eman weighed over 500 kg when she came to India on February 11 this year. On Monday, doctors at Saifee Hospital weighed her at 171 kg, calling it a miraculous weight loss. Eman’s sister Shaimaa Selim, however, alleged in a video that Eman was still unable to speak or move, and had not lost as much weight as the hospital was claiming.
On Tuesday, Dr Aparna Bhasker, bariatric department’s section head, resigned from the medical team treating Eman, claiming she was “hurt and disappointed” by Shaimaa’s decision to speak out against the doctors. “This is the worst form of assault on a doctor. I stayed with Eman in Egypt for several days leaving my child behind. Her sister has suddenly become ungrateful for all the time and energy doctors put in this case,” she said.
Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, the bariatric surgeon who operated on Eman on March 7 to reduce her stomach size by two-thirds, said: “This is already a miraculous weight loss. We have documentation to prove.” A second bariatric surgery has been shelved. Shaimaa, however, alleged that the hospital did not have the expertise to tackle neurological conditions. A CT scan on Tuesday showed that 40 per cent of Eman’s brain cells were dead due to a previous stroke. This has led to the 36-year-old patient suffering frequent seizures.
“After I protested, they shifted her out of the special room designed for her to a seventh floor room. My sister coughs when she attempts to eat, she cannot swallow food and suffers frequent seizures. Sometimes she needs an oxygen mask to breathe,” said Shaimaa (31), adding that with poor finances it will be difficult to look after Eman in Egypt. “It is now god’s will. My mother and I will look after her,” she said about agreeing to take her sister back to Alexandria. She is, however, worried about taking the flight back. “What if my sister dies due to complications during the flight?” Saifee Hospital is now in consultation with the Consul General of Egypt to arrange logistics for Eman’s return. A doctor said she is fit to travel in a passenger aircraft, although she may require at least two or three seats.
Rs 80 lakh raised by the hospital through crowd funding will be utlised for arranging her travel back, sources said. “She does not need a cargo carrier anymore. She is fit for discharge and travel,” a doctor said. Eman has been put on drugs, including ones to control seizures, and blood thinners to support air travel. Nephrologist Dr Hemal Shah, said: “In the last three weeks, Eman and her sister have slowed down the progress by protesting against everything the doctors did. Until a month ago, we were all heroes for them.”
The hospital’s chief operating officer, Huzaifa Shehabi, said: “We never promised complete recovery. Her feet are deformed and she cannot walk again.” She blamedcultural and language barriers for the misunderstanding between the family and the doctors. The hospital has now asked the family to look for consulting doctors in Egypt to continue the neurological treatment.