An Egyptian woman who weighs 1,102 lbs. will be airlifted to India for weight-loss surgery.
Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, 36, has been largely confined to her bedroom for the past two decades due to her weight.
“Eman didn’t live life as everyone does,” Shaimaa Ahmed, Eman’s younger sister, told CNN. “She didn’t enjoy her childhood or youth. She’s been battling with her illness for 36 years.”
Her health got worse after Eman suffered from a stroke two years ago that impaired her speech and further slowed her mobility, leading Shaimaa to search for a solution. After posting about her sister’s struggles on social media, Mumbai-based bariatric surgeon Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala reached out to help.
“She is battling with her life every single day,” he told CNN. “Right now she is like a living bombshell, which could blow up at any moment.”
Dr. Lakdawala immediately planned to bring Eman to his hospital in Mumbai, but ran into a roadblock when the Indian Embassy in Egypt said that Eman would have to show up in person to receive a visa to India. Undeterred, Dr. Lakdawala reached out to India’s Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, on Twitter, who granted the visa.
Eman’s family hopes to put her on a private plane to India sometime in the next week, thanks to fundraising efforts.
Once in India, Eman will undergo multiple surgeries in an attempt to bring down her weight.
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“She would need to remain in Mumbai for two to three months for the surgery and treatment after which she would be able to return home, but it would take two to three years to bring her body weight under 100kg (220 lbs.),” Dr. Lakdawala told BBC News.
“I’m hopeful that I will be able to help her, I won’t say I’m confident because I think that would be an exaggeration,” he said.