To no longer grow is a 'blessing' for world's tallest man

Turkey's Sultan Kosen, at eight foot three (2.51 meters) the world's tallest living man, says it's "a blessing" he is no longer growing thanks to radiosurgery in the United States.

"I am honored and grateful for this life-saving surgery," said Kosen, 29, via an email to AFP on Thursday from Guinness World Records in London, whose offices he visited the day before.

"Without my record-breaking status, I would never have had the opportunity to tell people about my condition," he added. "It is a blessing."

Nearly two years after gamma ray radiosurgery in the eastern state of Virgina, doctors confirmed this week that Kosen has overcome acromegaly, a rare that caused him to keep growing well into adulthood.

"He's stopped growing, which is good," neurosurgeon Jason Sheehan, who performed the non-invasive procedure that zapped the troublesome within Kosen's brain with extreme precision, told AFP.

"He will still have some medical therapy to deal with the excessive height he has achieved," added Sheehan by telephone from the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

"However, it is hopeful that he will not have any additional challenges because of continued growth."

Born into a farming family in southeastern Turkey, Kosen gained global renown in September 2009 when Guinness World Records declared him the tallest man in the world. He was then eight feet one inch (2.47 meters) tall.

Acromegaly typically results from a in the pea-sized pituitary gland at the base of the brain. Such a tumor can result in the production of too much growth hormone, leading in turn to , or excessive growth.

Sheehan and his team treated Kosen's tumor in August 2010 with a precisely targeted shot of extremely high frequency , using a non-invasive radiosurgical device known as a .

"While Mr Kosen is the tallest person, he is not unique," Sheehan said. "In terms of pituitary disorders, acromegaly is one of the more common disorders you can have. Obviously, Sultan had an extreme case of it."

Craig Glenday, editor in chief of Guinness World Records, said being a record holder had its benefits, "but none so important than the gift of essential medical treatment that would otherwise be beyond one's means."

" is indebted to the University of Virginia for their kind and generous offers of help," he added.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Man with world's largest feet finds fame

Oct 08, 2011

The first thing that people notice about Brahim Takioullah is not his feet -- which he hopes will make him famous -- but his enormous height. He stands more than eight foot (246 cm) tall.

World's tallest woman leaves hospital

Jun 16, 2006

Chinese doctors report the world's tallest woman is walking again after spending a month in the hospital to treat complications of her gigantism.

Recommended for you

US must respond to global health outbreaks, say bioethicists

13 hours ago

Last summer, West Africa fell into the grip of a deadly outbreak of Ebola that has thus far taken the lives of more than 9,500 people. The fear swept up by the epidemic quickly jumped across the Atlantic and landed in the ...

Uganda on defensive over medical 'brain drain' uproar

Mar 03, 2015

Uganda's government on Tuesday hit back at mounting criticism of plans to 'export' over 200 health workers to the Caribbean, insisting it was only seeking to regulate an existing labour market and prevent abuses.

Seth Mnookin on vaccination and public health

Mar 02, 2015

Seth Mnookin, an assistant professor of science writing and associate director of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing, is the author of "The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy" ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.