Although it wasn’t all that easy and simple, after a bit of seating adjustments, the world’s tallest woman – Rumeysa Gelgi – finally boarded a plane for the very first time in her life. 

This was accomplished with the help of Turkish Airlines.

Gelgi, who’s in the Guinness Book of Records for her 2.15-meter (about 7-foot) height, was able to take the trip after the airline turned six of the plane’s seats into a stretcher. 

Rumeysa Gelgi lies on the stretcher aboard the plane in Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 28, 2022 (AA Photo)

Gelgi had to travel by stretcher because of Weaver syndrome – a rare genetic disorder that causes bone overgrowth and is usually associated with rapid growth. People with Weaver syndrome are usually very tall and may have distinct facial features such as wide set eyes.

The 25-year-old software developer, who normally gets around in wheelchair or walks for short distances sometimes, was traveling to the United States to collaborate with Guinness for an event as well as to help further develop her professional career. 

The young woman, who was accompanied by her mom, boarded the flight with her wheelchair before laying on the stretcher on the plane for the 13-hour flight to San Francisco, California.

Rumeysa Gelgi poses with her mother at Istanbul Airport, in Istanbul, Türkiye, Sept. 28, 2022. (AA PHOTO)

“This will be my first flight as well as my first travel overseas,” Gelgi excitedly told journalists at the airport in Istanbul. “But I believe that this experience will be a first for many individuals, not just me because as you know, the option of traveling as a stretcher passenger is generally reserved for patients who are being transferred from one intensive care unit to another. It is an alternative for patients who are referred from one hospital to another and need an ambulance.”

She added: “However, because I couldn’t sit for lengthy periods of time due to my scoliosis or spine curvature disorder, I had to fly on a stretcher.”

Gelgi lives in the Turkish city of Karabük, roughly 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of the country’s capital: Ankara. 

She says she’s using her world record title to advocate (and raise awareness) for Weaver syndrome and scoliosis. 

The world’s tallest man – Sultan Kosen – also lives in Turkey. 

He’s measured at 2.51 meters (8 feet 2.8 inches) tall.


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