By Agence France-Presse
An Egyptian believed to have been the world’s heaviest woman before her surgery was hospitalized in Abu Dhabi on Thursday to continue treatment after a drastic weight-loss operation in India.
Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty weighed some 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) before surgery in Mumbai in March that saw her shed around a fifth of her weight.
She suffers from a range of health problems including elephantiasis, a condition that causes the limbs and other body parts to swell.
Abd El Aty was put on a special liquid diet in India to reduce her weight enough so that doctors could perform bariatric surgery — a stomach-shrinking bypass procedure is increasingly common in India, which has a growing problem with obesity.
She arrived in India on a specially-modified Airbus plane in February and has now shed an astonishing 323 kilograms in three months.
With her weight standing at 176.6 kilograms, she will begin a year-long course of physiotherapy at VPS Burjeel hospital in Abu Dhabi, her doctors in Mumbai said.
“We have arranged for a hydraulic stretcher from Italy for Eman’s journey and she will have doctors, paramedics and nurses with her during the journey,” Sanet Meyer, director of medevac at VPS Burjeel, told AFP ahead of the trip.
UAE newspapers reported that Abd El Aty’s sister Shaima had disagreed with how the Indian medical team were proceeding with the treatment.
“I asked for help (in the Emirates) after noticing the lack of progress,” she said on Thursday.
Abd El Aty had not left her home in Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria for two decades until her arrival in India.
Her family told doctors that she was diagnosed as a child with elephantiasis, leaving her almost immobile.
Abd El Aty has suffered a stroke and faced a series of other serious ailments owing to her weight including diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension and sleep deprivation.
She is unable to speak properly and is partially paralyzed.
India is a major destination for medical tourists seeking quality services and no waiting lists at a fraction of the cost of western countries.
In July last year, the Guinness Book of World Records recorded American Pauline Potter as the world’s heaviest woman at 293 kilos, well above Abd El Aty’s current weight.