Eman Abdul Atti suffered from a thyroid condition and once held the title of “world’s heaviest woman” before being removed from her home with the help of a crane. She had been unable to walk for the last 25 years of her life. She celebrated her last birthday on September 9, 2017, while recovering in hospital from her most recent weight reduction surgery in March. The bariatric procedure took place at Mumbai’s Saifee Hospital, after which Atti was transferred to the United Arab Emirates. She died on Monday in the early hours of the morning at Burjeel Hospital where a team of almost 20 doctors was working on her case.

Complications due the issues caused by her extreme weight were blamed for the death of the 37-year-old.

Childhood and health issues

Atti was an 11-pound baby and had been a lifelong thyroid sufferer. The thyroid is a vital gland that is the producer of the hormones that control metabolism and allow the body to regulate itself. Dysfunction in the gland can lead to rapid weight gains. By the time she was ten, Atti had begun to experience difficulty with movement and walking and was forced to stop attending school due to these problems. The problem grew exponentially worse and soon Atti could not leave the house and then her room. For more than 20 years she has been confined mostly to her bedroom.

After suffering from a stroke even her ability to communicate became impaired and she faced rapid deterioration leading to the massive weight gain which took her up to her record earning size.

Surgery and results

Prior to her procedure, Atti scaled in at a hefty 500 kg or 1102 pounds. She lost about 200 pounds in preparation for the surgery and indications were positive for a successful operation.

In India, a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy operation, which results in the removal of a portion of the stomach, was performed. What remains is almost like a sleeve along with a muscle, which controls the expelling of waste into the intestine. Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala conducted the operation on Atti. He had responded favorably to a social media campaign by her sister which pleaded for help with Atti’s condition.

His two-year-plan was meant to get her weight down to 220 pounds after two surgeries. After a hurdle with getting a visa to India which was delayed because she could not go to the embassy in person, she was finally on her way in a modified cargo plane for the life-altering operation. After undergoing surgery she was reported to have lost more than 660 pounds since March. Dr. Lakdawala gave a statement that post surgery, Atti had regained her good spirits and was smiling and happy, even having the energy to dance in her bed.


Family members claim that her weight loss was exaggerated by the hospital. In May she had been transferred to Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi amidst some push back. It is said by her sister that she was not yet stable enough for the move and should not have undergone the transfer due to the seizures she had been suffering from post-surgery.