How to bring 500 kilograms woman to Mumbai for operation
Mumbai Mirror | Updated: Dec 8, 2016, 11.55 AM IST
- Eman Ahmed, 36, has been bedridden for over two decades now.
- Egypt's Eman Ahmed, said to be world's heaviest woman,
- is struggling to find a plane willing to ferry her to Mumbai.
- No airline has so far agreed to charter a plane for her.
Eman Ahmed, 36, has been bedridden for over two decades now
It has been 25 years that Eman Ahmed, an Egyptian national who
weighs 500 kilograms, has been unable to step out of her home in Cairo.
And now that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has stepped in to
ensure that the 36-year-old gets medical visa to come to Mumbai for
a weight-loss surgery, bringing her to the city is proving
to be a mighty challenge.
There are no direct flights to Cairo; private carriers have thrown up their hands;
and no airline has so far agreed to charter a plane for her; in any case, it
will likely have to be modified for the flight.
Jet Airways rules, for instance, put up on its website, say its stretchers are
capable of carrying patients weighing less than 136 kilos. "Guests weighing
more than 136 kgs will be unable to avail of the stretcher service
while travelling on our flights," it reads.
The national carrier, meanwhile, does not have any guidelines on the
weight limit of fliers, but experts anticipate some hurdles in finding a plane
to ferry Ahmed. AI chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani said
if a formal request for a plane is made, they will consider it.
"Air India does not fly to Africa at the moment.
The nearest airport is Frankfurt in Germany.
But we'll be happy to explore the feasibility of flying Ahmed,"
she told Mirror.
The carrier's website stresses on completion of paperwork to avail of
a stretcher for patients, but makes no mention of weight restrictions on
medical tourists. "A pro forma duly filled along with signature of the
passenger/next of kin/escort and of the attending physician, is
required to be submitted. One able-bodied adult escort must accompany
the stretcher. Carriage of a stretcher passenger is upon advance arrangement
and subject to availability of space," its website says.
Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, attached to Saifee hospital where Ahmed's
bariatric surgery is scheduled, told Mirror that they have approached
several air ambulances but their requests haven't elicited a positive response.
"Now we are trying to speak to private airlines," he said.
He said that Eman's family cannot afford a chartered flight to Mumbai.
"We are trying to generate the funds needed to airlift her.
The rest we can manage. I have promised her free surgery, which is
slated to be performed at Saifee hospital. We will waive all the
expenses including the hospital stay," he said.
Eman will have to spend at least three months
in hospital after the surgery.
As for the medical equipment, Dr Lakdawala said they have arranged
for a 450-kg operation table "on which I think we can operate her".
The rest of the equipment has been arranged, he said.
It was Dr Lakdawala who on Monday tweeted about Ahmed's condition
after an "emotional mail" he received which said every doctor she had
approached denied her treatment. After the tweet, Minister Swaraj,
herself hospitalised at AIIMS in Delhi for a kidney ailment, assured her help+ .
"Right now the main challenge is to bring her in Mumbai," said
Dr Lakdawala, who has started an online campaign called 'Save Eman'
to generate funds for her transport and treatment.
Ahmed in the grip of many diseases
Eman Ahmed's obesity, which has confined her to bed since
she was 11, has over the years spawned a clutch of associated ailments
like diabetes, asthma, hypertension, pulmonary problem, depression and
more. Her surgery is therefore riddled with complications, to say the least.
Ahmed's sister Chaymaa Abdulati takes care of her daily needs.
It was she who got in touch with Dr Lakdawala about the possibility of
treatment back in October. Abdulati told Mirror: "Eman had to drop out
of primary school after suffering a cerebral stroke, which left her bedridden.
I perform her everyday tasks for her like changing, washing and feeding her."
At Saifee, a team of doctors comprising a cardiologist, a cardiac surgeon,
an endocrinologist, a chest physician, two bariatric surgeons including
Dr Lakdawala, two intensivists, and three anaesthetists will operate
upon Ahmed after she arrives in the city.
"She is bedridden because of her weight and has a lot of ailments.
You name it and she has it. She needs surgery urgently.
It's so painful to see what the family is going through
because of her condition," Dr Lakdawala said
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