World’s tallest woman dies aged 40 after losing battle with tumour that caused her to grow to 7ft 8in
She was the world’s tallest woman, but she had a tragically short life.
Yao Defen, who measured a gigantic 7ft 8in (2.36m), passed away last month aged just 40, it emerged today.
At her peak, she also weighed over 31st (200kg) and had size 26ft.
She reportedly died on the morning of November 13 in her hometown of Zhucheng, eastern China.
Born in 1972, Yao developed gigantism due to a tumour on her pituitary gland. By the age of 15, she stood at over two metres tall.
While playing for her school’s basketball team, she fainted on court and had to undergo a medical examination.
Doctors then discovered the tumour, which was releasing too much growth hormone and causing excessive growth in her bones.
Yao, the world’s tallest woman, was 10cm taller than massive NBC Chinese basketball player Yao Ming
In 2006, it was removed and Yao finally stopped growing. The tumour returned the following year but her family couldn’t afford further surgery.
Yao Defen and her friend sit at the entrance of her home in Shu Cha in eastern China’s Anhui province in 2006
A neighbour recalled how on the morning of Yao’s death, her widowed mother came running out of the family house .
The woman, named only as Zhang, reportedly said: ‘It was 9am in the morning, just after breakfast, when her mother shouted that the girl was hurt.
‘People immediately rushed over to their home. I saw Yao lying on the bed – she wasn’t breathing.
‘Later, her sister arrived and the doctor soon confirmed her death. Her sad mother cried then fainted.’