It took two months of preparation and could take more than four years of treatment, but doctors are determined to help the person believed to be the world's heaviest woman survive. The Times of India reports that Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty was flown Saturday from her home in Egypt to Mumbai, India, where in March she'll undergo a weight-loss surgery called sleeve gastrectomy, which reduces the stomach to a fraction of its size. In the interim, medical staff hope to spur Abd El Aty—whose family thinks she weighs more than 1,100 pounds and who suffers from a litany of conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism, and hypertension—to lose more than 100 pounds beforehand by feeding her a protein-heavy diet and giving her meds to help curb water retention.
It wasn't an easy endeavor to transport Abd El Aty, who the Hindustan Times says is 36, to India, a trip that ran around $125,000 and required her to leave her home for the first time in a quarter-century. The Times and the Hindu describe the arduous process, which involved flying her via cargo plane from Alexandria to Mumbai, then transporting her from the airport in a custom-modified truck to Saifee Hospital, into which she was lowered by crane. After her eventual surgery, Abd El Aty will still follow a years-long regimen, including more operations and specialized diet plans, to continue losing weight while doctors try to figure out what caused her obesity in the first place. "If it is [a] genetic abnormality, medicines can help," says the bariatric surgeon who's been lobbying to get her treatment. (The onetime heaviest man in the world died at age 48.)