CAIRO: A bedbound Egyptian woman, believed to the world's heaviest at about 500 kg, will soon leave for India for a weight-reduction surgery after a top Indian surgeon offered her help, her sister said today.
Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, 36, is preparing herself to be flown to Mumbai in the next 10 days, her sister Shaymaa told PTI.
Eman's story had gone viral on the social media and many news outlets published about her condition. She has barely left her bedroom in nearly 25 years, according to her family.
"There are very few facilities for a case like Eman's in Egypt. I've got many promises, but all of them were not true. There is no even one well-equipped bed in a hospital which she can lay on," Shaymaa said.
After knowing about her condition, Mumbai-based bariatric surgeon Muffazal Lakdawala reached her and offered his help. He even set up a fundraiser to fly Eman to India.
Lakdawala reached Eman's family through his Egyptian friend and doctor Diaa el-Behairy.
"I had put up several posts about Eman on social media and attached my mobile number for anyone who wanted to help. That's how Dr Diaa succeeded in reaching us," said Shaymaa.
She said desperate pleas to the Egyptian presidency, armed forces, and the Governor of Alexandria, where she lives, did not yield satisfactory results.
"They sent me a number of doctors," Shaymaa said adding that the doctors said they can't operate as Eman won't be able to bear the surgery.
Eman suffers from thyroid condition since childhood. She weighed about 5 kg at birth, and by 11 she had stopped going to school due to her weight, her sister said.
"As she gained weight, Eman began to crawl on her knees. But her situation has worsened in past 25 years," she said.
Eman suffers from thrombosis - the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system - and she can't even speak.
Eman is cared for by her mother and sister. Shaymaa, a fine art engineer who had to give up her job because of her sister's health condition, said the family's life has been badly hit as they had to take care of Eman "like a child".
"We have to do everything for her," said Shaymaa. "We are three sisters, only the youngest is married. I can't live a normal life as I have to devote all my time to help Eman."
Shaymaa thanks Lakdawala for helping the family.
"Eman's case needs a huge amount of money," she said. "I'm very grateful to Dr Muffazal for offering to fly Eman to India on a private medical plane," she said.
The procedural roadblocks for her treatment were cleared after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's intervention.
"Dr Muffazal had urged minister Swaraj on twitter to facilitate Eman's visa procedures, and she helped us," Shaymaa said.
Eman is expected to return home after a year of treatment. "I don't know when we'll return. May be after a year or so," said Shaymaa, who will travel with her to India.