Khalid Bin Mohsen Shaeri, a 1,345-pound man who had been unable to leave his bedroom for years, got the royal treatment on Monday.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah himself financed a demolition to extract the man from his apartment and airlift him aboard a Saudi Air Force plane to a hospital in Riyadh for treatment. Al-Arabiya reports that the king agreed to the operation after he had promised Shaeri full medical coverage earlier, but medical sources had complained that they didn't have the resources to transport the man.
Shaeri (spelled "Shaari" by some media outlets) had an unspecified disease as a child, a cousin told Reuters in the video above, and rapidly put on weight when he became bedridden.
The transfer required a special bed constructed in the United States and a forklift to ferry him to an ambulance and finally to the aircraft, the footage shows.
Dr. Robert Lustig, an endocrinologist, told CNN that Shaeri likely packed on pounds through liquid calories because of Saudi Arabia's hot climate. Lustig added that the man would have to lose weight before undergoing a weight-loss procedure. According to Arab News, however, doctors at King Fahd Medical City were planning an operation "to remove excess flab."
Shaeri, who is between 18 and 20 years old and comes from the Southern province of Jazan, might be the world's heaviest living man, reports say. However, the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes Manuel Uribe, of Mexico, who weighed 1,235 pounds in 2006 but had dropped to 980 pounds by March 2012.
According to a United Nations report, more than 35 percent of Saudi Arabians are classified as severely overweight.