Indian doctors defend 500kg Egyptian's weight loss amid row
Mumbai (AFP) – Indian doctors on Tuesday angrily rejected claims that they had lied about the amount of weight an Egyptian once believed to be the world’s heaviest woman had lost following surgery.
The sister of Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty alleged that her sibling, who previously weighed 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds), had not shed half her weight as specialists at a Mumbai hospital had claimed.
“Today Eman weighs 171 kilos,” Muffazal Lakdawala, the doctor leading Abd El Aty’s treatment, told AFP, adding that the claim made by her sister Shaimaa Selim in a social media video post was “complete hogwash”.
In videos provided last week by Saifee Hospital, where the 37-year-old had bariatric surgery last month, a visibly slimmer Abd El Aty could be seen sitting up and smiling while listening to music.
In an accompanying statement doctors said the woman, who had not left her home in Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria for two decades until she arrived in India’s commercial capital in February, had lost 250 kilos.
But in a video posted on Facebook and reported widely by Indian media on Tuesday, Selim accuses the hospital of lying, saying her sister had not lost as much weight as doctors had claimed.
“The pictures don’t lie, the pictures can’t lie,” Lakdawala said, suggesting that Selim had only raised complaints after doctors suggested that Abd El Aty could soon leave India, where she has been receiving treatment free of charge, to return to Egypt.
Abd El Aty’s family say that as a child she was diagnosed with elephantiasis, a condition that causes the limbs and other body parts to swell, leaving her almost immobile.
The Egyptian has suffered several strokes 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 paralysed.
Abd El Aty arrived in Mumbai on February 11 on a specially modified plane.
Doctors put her on a special liquid diet to get her weight down to a low enough level for doctors to perform bariatric surgery, essentially a stomach-shrinking bypass procedure carried out on those wanting to lose excessive weight.
Lakdawala said that Abd El Aty was due to have a CT scan on Tuesday to determine the cause of her right-sided paralysis and regular convulsions.
He added that there was not much more he could do for her in terms of further weight loss and she would need to see a specialist neurologist to help with her other ailments.