For the 25-year-old Siddiqa Parveen, her height, which has earned her the distinction of being the tallest woman on earth, was cause more for pain than joy.
For the woman who has been honoured with a mention in Guinness World Records for her height was for 15 years rendered home-bound and helpless by disease before finding a fresh lease of life at AIIMS here.
Siddiqa, a native of South Dinajpur in West Bengal, suffered from gigantism due to a brain tumour — a condition known as Giant Invasive Pituitary tumour — which had led to her growing to 7ft 8inches tall with a weight of 130kg along with enlarged body parts, including hands and feet.
But doctors at the premier hospital have performed a surgery on her which they say is "the first of multiple steps in her road to complete recovery".
"Siddiqa was admitted in AIIMS six weeks back with a condition where her serum growth hormone level was significantly elevated as a consequence of over secretion of the hormone by the pituitary tumour," said Dr Nikhil Tandon, professor of Endocrinology at AIIMS.
Siddiqa also had a vertebral spine fracture and could not walk properly, Tandon added.
First, she spoke no language other than Bengali and we needed an interpretor to create a rapport with her and convince her for the operation, explained Dr Ashish Suri, professor of neuro-surgery.
A team of doctors then carried out a detailed study on Siddiqa, examining the pros and cons of performing a surgery to remove the tumour.
"The tumour had to be taken out through the nose by inserting an endoscope through the nostrils. She suffered significant blood loss during the operation as the tumour was a vascular one.
Also, as her body frame was huge, it required a large operation table for which we had to join additional trolleys," Suri said.
The procedure was successful and, after being in the ICU for a few days, Siddiqa has now been shifted to the ward.
"She still stoops while walking due to the spinal fracture for which she will require additional treatment," Tandon said.
However, according to doctors, had her condition been diagnosed 10 years back, she would have been fit by now. Any further delay on the other hand would have resulted in loss of vision and could even have proved fatal, doctors said.
Siddiqa was recognised as the tallest woman in the world by Guinness World Records in the second week of 2013.