Yao Defen, believed to be the world’s tallest woman, has begun treatment in a Shanghai hospital for a brain tumor which is largely responsible for her extraordinary height.
Yao, who is from a poor farming family in eastern China’s Anhui province, is 2.36 meters (7.74 ft) tall, Chinese doctors say. That is 5 cm taller than Sandy Allen of the United States, who is currently listed by the Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest woman.
Yao, 36, suffers from a large tumor in her pituitary gland, which has stimulated her body to release excessive amounts of growth hormone and has made her bones weak, doctors say.
“I will never be able to lead a normal life, but I hope I’ll be able to take care of myself, buy groceries and cook my own food,” Yao told Reuters on Thursday by telephone from Ruijin Hospital. “Now it makes me too tired,” she said.
Yao is now being treated with a growth hormone inhibitor, her brother Yao Deqing said. Following an examination in the second half of this year, the hospital will decide when to conduct surgery.