Guinness World Records, the global authority on record-breaking achievements, has confirmed that Egyptian siblings 29-year-old Huda Shehata and her 34-year-old brother Mohamed Shehata achieved the record titles of Widest arm span on a living person for a female at 236.3 cm (7 ft 8.4 in) and male at 250.3 cm (8 ft 2.5 in) categories respectively.
On her own, Huda also secured other Guinness World Records titles for the Largest feet on a living person (female) with 33.1 cm (1 ft 1.02 in) on her right foot, and the Largest hands on a living person (female) with 24.3 cm (9.56 in) on her left hand. While Mohamed claims the record title of Widest hand span on a living person (male) with 31.3 cm (12.32 in) on his left hand.
Together, Huda and Mohamed have a combined height of 414.4 cm (13 ft 7 in), that is nearly as tall as a London double-decker bus!
Kenzy Defrawy, Guinness World Records adjudicator, presented Huda and Mohamed with the official titles at a medical clinic in Cairo, Egypt, while adhering to all social distancing and travel restrictions in place. The family of the record-breaking pair were present, alongside Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Dr Khaled Emara and his medical staff Dr Mahmoud El Shopaky and Dr Mohamed Nour.
Huda (29 years) and Mohamed (34 years) both live with their mother, Mrs. Rouhiya Abdulaziz, in a small village 90 minutes outside the Egyptian capital, Cairo. They are believed to be suffering from a benign tumour in their pituitary glands causing an excess production of growth hormones.
Born in January 1991, Huda’s childhood felt normal, until at the age of 12, she realised she was growing taller than most of her peers. Local orthopaedists diagnosed the case as a benign tumour in the pituitary glands which affected her natural growth. Huda did not complete her studies, but she is proud to be recognised by Guinness World Records™ for multiple records, expressing great happiness the moment she heard the news of her obtaining these world titles.
"I could not live my life as other women did,” says Huda. “I hope the recognition of Guinness World Records™ would change my life forever. I have always dreamed of dressing like other women, but I accept myself now and live with satisfaction and conviction.”
"Since the age of twelve, my life has been turned upside down," Mohamed added, whose diagnosis was also made at the age of 12. "I was not used to the new lifestyle of tall people. Everything seems small in my hands, even shaking hands with people has become a reminder of how I differ from others."
After the "Terzi" in their hometown, a local name for a tailor in Egypt, customizes a male dress ‘Galabiyah’ and a female dress for the two siblings, they would need to return the following year to do alterations to the edges of these clothes to match their new height. Mohamed says: "My height continues to grow every year, about 3 to 4 centimetres, and my limbs are growing unreasonably." As for Huda, she adds: "I have never seen a situation like myself and my brother's anywhere else in the world.”
Talal Omar – MENA Director, Guinness World Records said: “Record-breaking is all about recognizing superlatives, whether it be physically, mentally, or creatively. Over the years, we have been inspired by the sheer number of applications GWR has received from people looking to challenge the ordinary. Although everyone's definition of amazing is different, all our record-breakers share the passion of being unique. Guinness World Records offer chances for anyone – individuals, couples, families, schools, businesses and even whole communities or countries – to have a go at breaking or setting a world record. It is with pleasure that we see the Egyptian siblings claiming a number of records, so congratulations, they are Officially Amazing.”
Both Huda and Mohamed are still growing in height, and they may need to undergo an operation to stop their growth as soon as possible. In a similar case to that of Sultan Kösen, the Tallest man living, in 2012 when he underwent an operation at the University of Virginia to treat a similar condition known as acromegaly, which develops when a benign tumor of the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone. If the condition begins before puberty it can also lead to gigantism, as is the case with Huda and Mohamed.