Mumbai: Sister leaves 2-year-old behind in Egypt to be by Eman Ahmed's side

Saifee hospital doctors laud painstaking efforts of Eman Ahmed’s sister Shaima, who, they say, has left her toddler alone in Egypt to see Eman’s treatment through

Bariatric surgeon Dr Muffazal Lakdawala and sister of Eman Ahmed Shaima welcome Shahzada Dr. Qaidjohari Bhaisaheb Ezzuddin Saheb, CEO of Saifee hospital
Bariatric surgeon Dr Muffazal Lakdawala and sister of Eman Ahmed Shaima welcome Shahzada Dr. Qaidjohari Bhaisaheb Ezzuddin Saheb, CEO of Saifee hospital

The literal and metaphorical journey of Eman Ahmed, the world’s heaviest woman, has by no means been easy, but neither has it been a walk in the park for her sister Shaima, who, in spite of everything, has continued to remain by her side like a rock.

The press conference at Saifee hospital on Monday that was attended by consul general of Egypt Ahmed Khalil (seated left in front row). Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
The press conference at Saifee hospital on Monday that was attended by consul general of Egypt Ahmed Khalil (seated left in front row). Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

As mid-day had reported earlier that Shaima, an engineer, stopped working just to take care of Eman. But more than that, she also took the tough decision to leave her two-year-old daughter behind in Alexandria, Egypt, until Eman completed her first phase of treatment in Saifee Hospital over the next six months.

Shaima with her daughter Hour
Shaima with her daughter Hour

Doctors at the hospital too are awestruck by the efforts Shaima has put it to make her sister stand on her feet again.

Deserving praise
“Hats off to Shaima’s continuous effort for Eman. She has been fighting against all odds to give her a new lease of life. She has a two-year-old daughter who she has left in her hometown for Eman’s treatment. She is so strong and determined,” said Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, chairman of Minimal Access Surgical Science and Research Centre, Saifee Hospital.

Echoing Lakdawala, Dr Shehla Shaikh, consulting endocrinologist, shared an anecdote. “On Sunday, six doctors were trying to move Eman; when they couldn’t, she started laughing. So we asked Shaima why she was laughing, and Shaima replied that back home she and her mother alone would manage to move her around in the house. So, you can imagine how much labour she put in daily for her sister. And all of it even after having a child to look after,” said Shaikh.

200 kg in six months
As the doctors explained, it is not the surgery but the preparation that’s the real challenge. In the past three weeks, since Dr Lakdawala visited the family in Egypt, Eman has lost 22 kg, currently weighing 488 kg. Doctors need her to lose 200 kg more in the next six months. And if everything goes as per the plan, she might not even require an operation.

In a normal person, the body mass index stands at 24, but in Eman’s case, it has shot up to 255.

“Due to water retention, almost 100 kg of her weight is water due to her affected kidneys. Through a proper diet and physiotherapy, we are trying to get her to lose 200 kg in the next six months,” said Dr Hemal Shah, consulting nephrologist at the hospital.

The doctors have also conducted a special gene study on the patient, for the 91 different types of genes isolated with obesity-related ailments.

“My priority is to save Eman and give her a quality life. I want to ensure that whichever way, with or without a surgery, she is able to sit up and do things on her own in the first stage,” said Dr Lakdawala.

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