A woman believed to be the world’s fattest, a 78 stone woman is leaving her home for the first time in 25 years to have life-saving weight reduction surgery.
Iman Ahmad Abdulati, 26 – who tips the scales at over half a tonne (over 78.7 stone) – is to fly to India from her home in Alexandria, Egypt, after one of the world’s leading bariatric surgeons volunteered to treat her.
But Iman’s op was almost grounded before it began after immigration officials at India’s embassy in Cairo refused to believe she was too big to visit to make her visa application.
Indian law requires visa applicants allow immigration police to take their fingerprints.
They only backed down when surgeon Dr Muffazzal Lakdawala used Twitter to contact India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to ask for help.
His tweet read: “Ma’am, Eman Ahmed (Egypt) 500kgs requested me 2 save her pls help me get her a medical visa as refused thru normal process @SushmaSwaraj”
He explained later: “Iman can’t move because of her condition, and due to her weight, it is near impossible to move her.”
He added: “But the Indian Embassy in Cairo wasn’t ready to accept it.
“The officers thought that the family was bluffing and kept asking the family members to bring Iman to the embassy to scan her fingerprint.
“They didn’t pay any heed to the family’s requests and, as a result, Iman’s visa was rejected.”
The Minister replied to the doctor’s tweet immediately and the visa request was granted and everything could go forward. She said: “Thanks for bringing this to my notice. We will definitely help her.”
Now, however, the medic is struggling with the mammoth problem of getting Iman to Mumbai this week for a series of ops that could last a year.
He told local media he plans to – at first – use a bariatric balloon to fill up part of Iman’s digestive tract.
The doctor reckons she could lose as much as 62 stone in two years.
He said: “Due to her heavy weight, we can’t bring her in a normal plane, so we are trying to arrange a private chartered flight instead.”
The plane will have to be refitted with a reinforced bed because Iman’s weight makes it impossible for her to sit upright in a chair.
At home, she relies on her mother and sister Chaymaa Abdulati to help her with everyday tasks like eating, getting dressed, washing and going to the bathroom.