Aboard the Egypt Air aircraft

The Indian Express, February 13, 2017

Eman Ahmed, who weighs around 500 kg and is the world’s heaviest woman, has been under observation at the Saifee Hospital since her arrival here on Saturday and has now been put on high-protein liquid diet, doctors said. “Eman has now been put on high-protein liquid diet. For the past 48 hours, she has been under the observation of a team of doctors,” noted bariatric surgeon Muffazal Lakdawala, who leads the team, told reporters.

“The doctors have been conducting extensive tests as step one in the process of Eman’s treatment,” Lakdawala said. “A room has been specially created for Eman by the hospital,” he said.

“Weight is just one of Eman’s problems. She has been confined to bed for more than two 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 treating Eman is committed to giving her the best care and helping her to get back on her feet and recover from her current ailments,” he said.

“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,” he said.

Over the last five months, Lakdawala and the management of Mumbai’s Saifee Hospital have worked to enable Eman’s journey to recovery, a statement from the hospital this evening said.

Lakdawala had taken on this challenging case pro bono late last year, in response to an appeal for help from Eman’s sister, it said.

Lakdawala, who is Chairman, Institute of Minimal Access Surgical Sciences and Research Centre, and Shaimaa Ahmed, Eman’s sister, discussed details of Eman’s stay and the next steps of her treatment.

Given Eman’s unique requirements, special arrangements have been made at Saifee hospital where she will be treated gratis, the statement said.

“The hospital has made preparations to provide all necessary facilities for treating Eman, including creating a special room for her in hospital premises.All the arrangements have been made after obtaining permissions from relevant government authorities, including the BMC,” the statement said.

Eman’s room at Saifee hospital is 1000 sqft and contains a patient room, an attendants room, a scrub room, and a toilet. It has been furnished with a Citadel Plus Bariatric Care system and other medical equipment.

Doctors have also conducted a special gene study on Eman for the 91 different types of genes isolated with obesity related syndrome.

“When Lakdawala turned towards Saifee Hospital to help him in this humanitarian cause, we were only too happy to help,” HuzaifaShehabi from Saifee Hospital said.

“Messages conveying greetings and good wishes are pouring in from Egypt, in appreciation of the helping hand that India has lent an Egyptian national. This noble endeavour will surely strengthen our existing ties with Egypt,” he said.

Shaimaa, who has been Eman’s strongest supporter, has also accompanied her to India. She expressed her deep gratitude to Lakdawala, his team, Saifee Hospital and all the others who have helped Eman in her journey so far.

“Now that we are finally here, we can start her treatment. Please pray for Eman to recover,” she said.

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.

The Team – Saifee Hospital

HuzaifaShehabi , Chief Operating Officer, Saifee Hospital. He has over 15 years’ experience in the healthcare industry and has been associated with the hospital since its inception. He has single-handedly worked on the planning, evacuation and safe travel of Eman from her home in Egypt to Mumbai.


Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala is the Chairman of Institute of Minimal Access Surgical Sciences and Research Centre, Saifee Hospital, Mumbai. He is also Founder, Digestive Health Institute, Mumbai, which is the first Indian Centre for Excellence in Bariatric Surgery.

In his career of 15 years, Dr Lakdawala has conducted numerous surgeries, in India, and abroad; a trained laparoscopic surgeon, he specialises in Bariatric surgery and GI oncology surgery. He is known internationally for his pioneering work in the field of scarless bariatric surgery and is a keen researcher in the field of diabetes surgery

Dr Lakdawala’s first book, The Eat-Right Prescription (2016), was an instant bestseller.

Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker, MBBS, MD is Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon at CODS and the Section Chief of Bariatric Surgery at Saifee Hospital, both in Mumbai. She is the first Asian female surgeon to be awarded the designation of an International Center for Excellence for Bariatric Surgery. Dr Bhasker has keen interest and expertise in Single Incision Surgery. She also has several papers to her credit. They will be supported by Drs Mizelle D’silva and Samina Mansoori.


Dr. Kamlesh Bohra, MBBS, TDD, MD is Senior Intensivist, Department of Critical & Intensive Care, Saifee Hospital, Mumbai. He has over 14 years of experience in critical care and has been working at Saifee Hospital since 2005. Dr Bohra has had the honour and opportunity of serving H.H. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb.


Dr Abizer Mankadis a consulting physician at Saifee Hospital for the past 9 years.

Drs Aparna, Kamlesh and Abizer have been in Alexandria and kickstarted the preparation of Eman’s travel to India.


Dr Shehla Shaikh is a consultant endocrinologist, at Saifee Hospital, Mumbai. She is a member of the executive committees of Diabetes India and ESI Maharashtra. Dr Shaikh has authored number of publications in national and international journals, and is a speaker as well as a principal investigator in a number of trials.


Zoya Brar, Managing Director, Core Diagnostics –

Obesity impacts almost every aspect of health – cardiac, reproductive, respiratory, neurological, metabolic, to name a few. It also causes some types of cancer. Obesity is caused by both genotypic and phenotypic factors – some you are born with, and some stemming from your lifestyle. Testing for Obesity, therefore, becomes a complex task that uses a wide array of genetic and molecular testing. For instance,obeCORE is a panel of such tests that tests for 36 different genes associated with obesity. CORE Diagnostics, one of the most advanced clinical testing laboratories in India offers such tests, along with the much needed genetic counselling.


Dr Hemal Shah , MD, DNB (Nephrology), MNAMS, is a consulting physician and nephrologist, and Head of Department at Saifee Hospital, Mumbai. Dr Shah specialises in CKD management and dialysis of acute kidney injury in ICU.


Carlyne Remedios is the Senior Nutritionist in Dr Lakdawala’s bariatric team. She has a B.HSC. in Food Science and Nutrition from SNDT University – Mumbai, a Masters in Dietetics from Deakin University – Melbourne, and is accredited as a practicing dietician from the Dietician’s Association of Australia. She is the author of the paper, ‘Bariatric Nutrition Guidelines for the Indian Population’. She is supported by NehaDhulla who has specialised in Nutrition and Hospital Services and is a nutritionist in Dr Lakdawala’s team as well.


Dr Arun Shah is a consultant neurologist and stroke specialist. He is Professor Emeritus of Neurology at BYL Nair hospital and TN Medical College.


Dr Sonal Shah, MBBS, MD, has been a Consulting Anaesthesiologist at Saifee Hospital, Mumbai, for over a decade. She specializes in bariatric, maxillofacial, oncological and plastic surgeries. Dr Shah has co-authored the Silver Book on Sleeve Gastrectomy; she is also a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops, and writes academic papers.

Dr Swati Kudalkar, MBBS, MD, is a graduate of TN Medical College and BYL Nair Hospital. She has been a consultant anaesthesiologist at Saifee Hospital, Mumbai for a decade and has also worked at PD Hinduja National Hospital and Tata Memorial Hospital.

Dr Sharmila Nair completed her medical post-graduation in Anaesthesia from BYL Nair Hospital, Mumbai. She currently consults with a wide range of reputed institutes in South Bombay – primarily, Saifee Hospital Department of Laparoscopic Surgery and Orthopaedics (since 2008).


Dr Rajesh Sharma specializes in bronchoscopy and critical pulmonary medicine.


Dr Swati Sanghvi

The above will be supported by a team of highly experienced consultants from other specialities, as and when the need arises.