Nurses at a hospital in Ghana reportedly told Sulemana Abdul Samed, also known as “Awuche,” that he may be the tallest man in the world after a recent check-up.
According to BBC, Awuche, diagnosed with gigantism, has monthly appointments to assist him in maneuvering day-to-day life as a giant due to complications from his size.
Medical professionals told him during his latest visit that he stands 9 feet, 6 inches tall, making Awuche the tallest living man in the world. He replaces Turkey’s Sultan Kösen, who held the Guinness World Records title with a height of 8 feet, 2.8 inches since 2009.
Estimating the new height of the 29-year-old wasn’t easy as the duty nurse shared in disbelief that he’d grown “taller than the scale” when she tried to measure how tall he was.
She needed several other nurses to help her figure out a way to find his height, and they stumbled upon the idea of using a pole to continue in addition to the measuring stick to rule that he was taller than 9.5 feet.
The news didn’t come as a surprise to the Ghanaian native because he has never stopped growing. When he was 22 years old, he lived in Accra because he wanted to become a truck driver. So, he worked at a butcher’s shop to save money for school. Then, one day, he woke up, and his tongue had grown, making it difficult for him to breathe.
“I realized my tongue had expanded in my mouth to the extent that I could not [breathe properly],” he told the BBC.
He thought it could be an allergic reaction, so he went to a local pharmacy to get medicine. A few days later, he noticed other body parts had grown. At this point, he realized he hadn’t yet stopped growing.
He’s become so tall that his spine has curved, a Marfan syndrome symptom affecting the heart, eyes, blood vessels, and bones of tall, thin people with extra-long limbs.
Due to being a giant and having this condition, he’s been unable to accomplish some goals and enjoy hobbies he used to partake in.
Luckily, he keeps his spirits up and doesn’t let it get to him. In addition, he credits the emotional support from his family for also getting through it all.
“That is how Allah chose it for me, I am ok. I don’t have a problem with the way God created me,” he said.
Awuche has become a local celebrity. When he’s out on the town, locals and strangers always come up to speak and take pictures with him. He doesn’t mind the love supporters show him; he loves it.
“I usually will say, ‘Yes come closer’ – we stand and take nice pictures,” he said.