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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

What killed Eman Ahmed? World’s ‘heaviest’ woman dies in Abu Dhabi

Medical experts at Burjeel Hospital said ‘Complications, from the underlying co-morbid conditions including heart diseases and kidney dysfunction’ caused Eman’s death.

health Updated: Sep 25, 2017 16:48 IST
Sadaguru Pandit
Sadaguru Pandit
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Eman Ahmed, 37, with Dr Shamsheer Vayalil during her birthday celebrations at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi.
Eman Ahmed, 37, with Dr Shamsheer Vayalil during her birthday celebrations at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi.(HT Photo)

After spending four months at Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi, 37-year-old Eman Abdul Atti’s sudden demise took the medical fraternity and her well wishers by surprise.

In their official statement, medical experts from Burjeel Hospital mentioned ‘Complications, from the underlying co-morbid conditions including heart diseases and kidney dysfunction’, as Eman’s cause of death.

After being moved to Abu Dhabi on May 4, a team of 20 doctors had conducted investigations of her health parameters to start the treatment.

HT had reported about a leakage in her heart that could be fatal, as told by doctors treating her at a hospital in Abu Dhabi.

Though her psychological condition had improved, evident from the pictures and videos shared by the hospital, her heart echo had a different story to tell about her physiological state.

Tests had shown Ahmed having a condition in which a leaking valve made some of the blood to flow back to the left ventricle, leading to a decrease in the capacity of the heart to pump sufficient blood to her body, and which would eventually lead to heart failure.

“Eman’s heart echo revealed a severe regurgitation (leakage) of the aortic valve. We have put her on conservative treatment with possible valve replacement as a part of the long-term plan,” Yassin El-Shahat, chief medical officer of the hospital, had said in May.

More than 20 healthcare professionals were assigned to evaluate Eman and chart a treatment plan, which was divided into three stages.

Doctors had planned to treat Eman’s acute issues — including her urinary tract infection, bedsores, rehabilitation, speech therapy — and provide her with psychological support within three months, as part of phase 1.

Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, Eman’s treating doctor from Saifee Hospital, Mumbai, had said most of Eman’s obesity-related problems such as severe hypothyroidism, lymphoedema, right-sided heart failure (or pulmonale), severe obstructive respiratory disease, renal failure and congestive liver were under control. However, Eman still needs to be on medication.

Hemal Shah, head of the department of nephrology at the hospital, said that while water retention doesn’t usually result in an increase of more than 5-10kg, it was different in Eman’s case.

Eman’s body mass index (BMI) — a measure of body fat based on height and weight, which for a normal person is about 24 —was almost ten times higher at 252.

Doctors from Saifee hospital said she also suffered from ailments such as severe lymphedema, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, severe obstructive and restrictive lung disease, gout and sleep apnea. She was at a high risk of pulmonary embolism.

While doctors from Burjeel Hospital are yet to share more details on her treatment, health parameters and what exactly caused her death, it is likely that kidney and heart complications, which were previously diagnosed during the course of her treatment, eventually caused her death.