Former ‘world’s heaviest woman’ leaves Indian hospital for treatment in Abu Dhabi

With her weight now standing at 176.6kg, she will begin a year-long course of physiotherapy at VPS Burjeel hospital in Abu Dhabi.

Egyptian Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty is taken on a stretcher towards an ambulance at a hospital in Mumbai on May 4, 2017 ahead of her trip to the UAE. Punit Paranjpe / AFP
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ABU DHABI // An Egyptian once believed to be the world’s heaviest woman arrived in Abu Dhabi late last night where she will continue treatment after weight-loss surgery in India.

Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty weighed about 500 kilograms when she arrived in Mumbai in February, but has shed an astonishing 323kg since undergoing a series of medical procedures.

With her weight now at 176.6kg, she will begin a year-long course of physiotherapy at VPS Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, her doctors in Mumbai said.

Dr Yassin El Shahat, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said Ms El Aty had a comfortable journey to Abu Dhabi with no complications and arrived safely.

“I asked her personally how the journey was and she said she was very happy and it went very smooth,” said Dr El Shahat.

Doctors are planning her treatment and will do an assessment.

“Twenty doctors and specialists have been assigned to make a proper assessment and come up with a proper management plan, both short and long term,” said Dr El Shahat.

“The idea is to complete the treatment the patient received in [Mumbai]. We are going to assess the patient and see what has been done and complete it.”

The treatment could take six months to a year.

“The target is to make her normal or at least close to normal and, inshallah, it will take time, but we will have a proper plan of rehabilitation and treatment for her complications of obesity and do the best for her.”

Doctors hope expect her treatment to last at least six months, but it could take as long as a year.

“We are working with a special dietician and diabetic dietician and will control her diet in a very strict way,” he said.

Sanet Meyer, director of medical evacuation at Burjeel, said the hospital “arranged for a hydraulic stretcher from Italy for Eman’s journey”.

“She will have doctors, paramedics and nurses with her during the journey.”

Ms El Aty was put on a special liquid diet in India to reduce her weight enough so that doctors could perform bariatric surgery.

The stomach-shrinking bypass procedure is increasingly common in India, which has a growing problem with obesity, particularly in urban areas.

She had not left her home in Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria for two decades until she was moved to India on a specially-modified Airbus plane in February.

Her family told doctors that as a child she had elephantiasis diagnosed, a condition that causes the limbs and other body parts to swell, leaving her almost immobile.

Ms 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 paralysed.

India is a major destination for medical tourists seeking services and no waiting lists at a fraction of the cost of western countries.