In 2010, Yao Defen of eastern China's Anhui province was recognized as the tallest woman in the world in the Guinness World Records where she stood at 7ft 8in tall. Sadly, the world's tallest woman already passed away last November 13 in the house she shared with her mother in Shitang village.
Local newspaper Xin'an Wanbao reported the death of the world's tallest woman on Tuesday. An unnamed official also confirmed the sad news yet stated he was uncertain what caused her death. Recorded as the third tallest woman, Yao Defen died at the age of 40.
"Yao Defen died in the middle of last month," a spokesman for the government of Shucha town, where Yao lived, told the Australian Federal Police (AFP) through a phone call. The Chinese woman had suffered health problems for quite some time.
A neighbor identified as Ms. Zhang recalled that she heard Yao's mother shout out that something happened to her daughter.
"People immediately rushed over to their home. I saw Yao lying on the bed but she was not breathing. Her sisters rushed back home too and soon afterwards the doctor announced she had passed away. Her mother cried until she passed out, and then her brother, Yao Deqing, drove her mother to Hefei to stay with him," Ms. Zhang shared.
A tumor in her pituitary gland during her childhood reportedly caused the astounding height increase of the Chinese woman. Yao's tumor was diagnosed and removed in 2006 when she fainted while playing basketball.
She continued to suffer other health problems. In 2009, Yao Defen suddenly collapsed while preparing lunch. At the hospital, Yao was diagnosed this time with a blood clot on her brain.
An Anhui newspaper reported Yao Defen already reached a height of more than 2 meters when she turned 15 years old. Yao's family put her in the circus to earn extra money for their insufficient income where she performed in a freak show. Despite her family's poor status, Yao Defen declined government assistance.