Abu Dhabi: She may have arrived in the capital in a bedridden state, but Eman Abdul Atti is now able to sit independently and eat on her own. The woman once dubbed as the world’s heaviest is also set to soon undergo a series of weight-reduction surgeries.
The 36-year-old Egyptian has had her nasogastric feeding tube removed, and is able to take her medicines orally, Dr Yassin Al Shahat, chief medical officer at Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi, announced in a statement on Saturday.
“[Abdul Atti] is able to sit independently for long periods on a specially tailored wheelchair. Her bedsores are almost healed, and because her voice has cleared, she is able to speak in full sentences and is communicating better with her surroundings,” Dr Al Shahat said.
These improvements were outlined as some of the expected outcomes of the first treatment stage for Abdul Atti, who landed in the capital on May 4.
Her plight had first received public attention when her family had posted a desperate plea for help online to Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi. They had said that Abdul Atti had been confined to her bed since she was 12, and suffered from a parasitic infection that had caused her limbs and body to swell.
In February 2017, Abdul Atti was flown to a Mumbai-based hospital, where she underwent bariatric surgery. But a subsequent dispute about her weight loss and treatment had led Abdul Atti’s family to reach out to Burjeel Hospital, which had previously offered to treat her.
Citing privacy concerns, doctors at Burjeel never disclosed Abdul Atti’s exact weight. But in today’s statement, Dr Al Shahat said multiple weight loss surgeries will be performed in the second stage of treatment, which is set to begin in about two weeks.
“We will undertake the same [rehabilitation] as in the first stage of treatment, along with multiple surgeries to reduce weight, including liposuction and plastic surgery,” the doctor said. He added that there has already been significant weight reduction through conservative management.
Earlier this month, the hospital released a video of Abdul Atti lifting a bottle of water to her mouth, throwing a balloon back and forth and waving at the camera. Now, she is also able to use a remote and pick what she wants to watch on television.
The statement said that Abdul Atti also greeted her well-wishers ahead of Eid Al Fitr, and expressed her thanks to the Abu Dhabi government and to the hospital.