Mumbai: Egyptian national Eman Ahmed, who was until recently believed to be the world’s heaviest woman, was flown to Abu Dhabi in UAE for further treatment on Thursday evening.
The 37-year-old was discharged around 12.40 pm from Mumbai-based Saifee Hospital, where she was undergoing treatment for severe obesity since February this year.
EgyptAir cargo airbus 300, fitted with medical equipment for shifting Eman to Abu Dhabi, took off at 7.41 pm from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, an airport official said.
A green corridor was created for transporting Eman from Saifee Hospital to Gate No. 5 of Terminal 2 at the airport. According to bariatric surgeon Muffazal Lakdawala, Eman’s weight came down to 170 kg (as on Wednesday evening). She weighed a whopping 498 kg on her arrival here in February this year.
Eman’s discharge from Saifee hospital got delayed amid reports that there was some difference of opinion on Eman’s handing over to the authorities of Burjeel Hospital in UAE (where she would undergo further treatment).
However, Dr Lakdawala dismissed the reports of any dispute between the officials from both the hospitals. “It was simply some paper work that took little longer time. There was no dispute,” he claimed.
As her discharge got delayed, Maharashtra Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant rushed to Saifee hospital and intervened in the matter. Likewise, BJP leader Shaina NC was also present. Sawant later said, “There are some lessons to be learnt from Eman’s case. I think the state government will have to form some standard operating protocol for handling such complex cases.”
Shaina NC, in her official communication, said that Eman’s sister Shaimaa Selim signed the discharge papers at the hospital in the presence of Dr Sawant and herself. “Obviously, after all the false allegations (levelled by Eman’s sister Shaimaa Selim), the hospital authorities would want to make sure that their patient is going back in good health.
“It is the onus of the next hospital once they leave, and hence proper documentation with comprehensive reports and medical advice needed to be exchanged between the hospitals. It was necessary to confirm that everything is in order,” Shaina NC said.
“This has been a landmark case when it comes to the medical fraternity and the good doctors and the large heart shown by India, Maharashtra and Mumbai, when it comes to medical tourism is something that everyone echos unequivocally,” she said.
Eman underwent bariatric surgery in March in which doctors reduced the size of her stomach by two-thirds, so as to reduce her food intake. Her genetic tests had showed that she has a rare gene mutation that cannot be cured through surgery.
She was treated by Lakdawala and a team of around 15 doctors from various disciplines since she was brought in Mumbai from Alexandria on February 11 this year.
On Wednesday, Lakdawala had said that Huzefa Shehabi, COO Saifee Hospital, had received an e-mail communication from VPS Burjeel Hospital (in Abu Dhabi, UAE) saying that Eman is “stable, in good health and fit to fly” paving way for her discharge this afternoon.
Eman’s sister Shaimaa in an online video last month had alleged that she was not receiving proper treatment at the privately-owned hospital in South Mumbai. She had alleged that the doctors at Saifee, made “false claims” about Eman’s complete recovery and weight loss of 262 kg.
Refuting the allegations, Aparna Bhaskar, section chief of bariatric surgery at Saifee Hospital, had said that Shaimaa may be criticising the doctors to extend her sister’s stay at the hospital. Lakdawala, too, had denied the charge.
Eman, a resident of Alexandria in Egypt, had not stepped out of her house for more than two decades due to her obese condition followed by a stroke that left her paralysed on one side a year ago.