If there’s one thing we all have enough of it is regret. We will reflect and think—What if I had done that? What if I had said that? Or, wish I had tried that? A decade down the line most of will be disappointed by the things we didn’t do. We can always recover and learn from mistakes, but if we don’t do anything it logically means that there is nothing to improve or salvage.
Dr.Muffazal Lakdawala , eminent bariatric surgeon, certainly does not believe in that. He is about to lay his reputation on the line in what will be an unforgettable, unique experience made possible with technology, medicine,bureaucracy and administration.
In what seemed like a mission impossible, a host of government bodies, officials of India and Egypt, the Ministry of External Affairs, set the ball rolling. Eman Ahmed, who weighs close to 500 kg and is the world’s heaviest woman arrived in Mumbai late last week. Over the last five months, Dr. Lakdawala, and the management of Mumbai’s Saifee Hospital have worked tirelessly to enable Eman’s journey to recovery. Dr. Lakdawala had taken on this challenging case pro-bono late last year, in response to an appeal for help from Eman’s sister, Shaimaa.
Housed in a specially created 1,000 sq.ft room at Saifee Hospital, Eman has been under the observation of a team of doctors who have been conducting extensive tests as step one in the process of her treatment. Given Eman’s unique requirements, special arrangements have been made for her at Saifee known for its proven prominence in the field of bariatric surgery and for operating on some of the most prominent cases from India and Asia. The room has been furnished with a Citadel Plus Bariatric Care system, a chain pulley, a lifting swing, Drager Fabius GS, an anaesthesia machine, central monitoring system, an infusion pump, a Philips Intellivue MP40, an Injectomat Syringe Pump, a Philips C arm BV Pulsera, a Patent Warmer, Suction Machine, Philips page writer TC20, A Lourano Chair and other necessary equipment.
The team of doctors detailed Eman’s current prognosis and the next steps in her case. The doctors have also conducted a special gene study on the patient, for the 91 different types of genes isolated with obesity related syndrome.
Dr Lakdawala says, “Weight is just one of Eman’s problems. She has been confined to her bed for more than 2 decades, unable to move due to her weight. She also suffers from several medical complications due to her weight and continued immobility over the years making her case very complex and high risk. Bringing a semblance of normalcy to Eman’s life may take a few years. The entire panel of doctors is committed to giving her the best care and helping her to get back on her feet and recover from her current ailments.My priority is to save Eman and give her quality of life. If I can ensure with whatever means – by Bariatric surgery or otherwise to enable her to sit up and do things on her own in this first stage; for me that shall be victory.”
Rebutting claims made by Egyptian doctors that he had brought Eman to India for publicity, Dr Lakdawala said,” That is far-fetched. When her sister Shaimaa approached me a few months ago,I couldn’t turn down her request. I have operated on several famous celebrities and politicians over the years and am not doing it for fame”. On the threshold of making medical history, Dr. Lakdawala candidly accepts that he is nervous .”Eman has not seen the sun in 25 years, has suffered partial paralysis and is diabetic in addition to having other problems. If I can put her on her feet it will be great”.
“We first want to make her lose weight and then we will decide on surgery.She is a very strong woman and always has a smile”.
Dr. Lakdawala has since received many requests from people in Switzerland, Russia, Saudi and the UAE who have undergone bariatric surgery to redo their procedures.
Eman’s sister, Shaimaa Ahmed, who has been her strongest supporter has also accompanied her to India. Moved by the efforts made for her sister, she expressed her deep gratitude to Dr. Lakdawala, his team, Saifee Hospital and all the others she said “On behalf of my sister Eman, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Muffazal and Saifee Hospital for their help and effort in Eman’s journey so far. Now that we are finally here, we can start her treatment. Please pray for Eman to recover.”
While Dr. Lakdawala and Saifee Hosptial have taken on this case pro bono, Eman’s family has been unable to afford the cost for her transportation, medication and accommodation, while in India. A fundraiser on BitGiving has been set up in order to help Eman lead the life she deserves. The money will be put in a separate account created specifically for Eman’s treatment, while she’s in India.