“She looks happy after a long time. Eman and I were both so anxious with so many people swooping down on us; we cried yesterday on our journey out of Saifee Hospital to the airport. In the aircraft, Eman fell into deep sleep despite the noisy cargo flight,” her sister Shaimaa Semil told TOI standing in the isolated ICU room at the Burjeel Hospital, Eman’s home for the coming months.
Twenty minutes and twenty hands of paramedics, doctors and hospital staffers is what it took to hoist a bed-bound Eman out of the supersized ambulance and wheel her into Burjeel on Thursday night after she made her way into the centre of UAE’s capital city, escorted by Abu Dhabi Police and Civil Defence vehicles, for a second chance at a “normal body”.
The arrival of someone who until three months ago was believed to be the heaviest woman in the world and still weighs a staggering 170 kg managed to stir up the quiet neighbourhood of Al Najdah Street as locals thronged the hospital gates with their cellphone cameras and two words on their lips – “ahlan” and “la taqlaq” (welcome and don’t worry, in Arabic).
The target to make her “normal” or “close to normal” could take six months to a year, informed Yassin Elshahat, chief medical officer at Burjeel while Friday was spent in “thorough assessment” of Eman’s parameters by a team of 20 multidisciplinary doctors before they put a “long and short term plan” in place.
“I need people treating Eman like any other human, not as the `heaviest woman in the world’ to grab attention. It’s no longer about weight loss but about curing the other ailments Eman is suffering from,” insists Shaimaa, buoyant about Eman’s second phase of treatment led by Shamsheer Vayalil’s VPS Healthcare group. “Unlike Saifee Hospital where all the promises were verbal and therefore easily broken, Burjeel’s invitation to host Eman for a year has been given to me in writing,” she says.