Doctors believe that this woman has the “World’s biggest hands” since each of her arms weighs one and a half stone. Duangjay Samaksamam is a shop owner from Surin province in Thailand. For over 50 years, she has suffered from a very painful and rare condition that has her limbs permanently swollen.
She says that moving is painful for her even when handling simple tasks. “My hands are so heavy I can barely lift them to comb or shampoo my hair, it’s very difficult. Getting dressed is also very difficult and painful,” she says.
The 59-year-old was embarrassed by her condition and spent her first 20 years as a recluse. She was ashamed of her look and never even went to school. Circumstances forced her to stop hiding so that she could earn a living and take care of her parents. She took over the running of her family’s grocery shop.
Medics around the world have a keen interest in her and many of them have attempted to reduce the swelling through surgery. None to date however has succeeded. “Some doctors said the only solution was to cut off my hands if I wished to walk around freely. But I don’t want to do that,” she says.
The name of the condition Duangjay was born with is known as Macrodystrophia Lipomastosa. It causes huge amounts of fat deposits to get distributed across her hands and arms. She has undergone a series of surgeries to help solve the problem but her situation only got worse. After 3 operations, her condition was still crippling.
Plastic surgeon, Dr Eiju Uchinuma, said “This case is very rare. Both her arms are enlarged. Her arms and hands are enormous so they swell badly, but it could be worse. My diagnosis is that she is the first and only person in the world who has Macrodystrophia Lipomatosa from shoulders to her fingers on both arms. The cause of the disease is unknown and is therefore incurable.”
You can watch Duangjay’s story in a new series of Body Bizarre that is set to air at 9pm on TLC, on the 25th of September.