Woman who grew to 7ft tall thanks to undiscovered tumour marries man over a foot shorter
Laura Abernethy - Wednesday 9 Jun 2021 5:03 pm
From the age of 10, Elisane Silva started to notice she was much taller than her classmates, and even her family.
At that stage she was already 5ft 9 but she kept growing, and now the 26-year-old stands at 6ft 8in.
Her mother Ana Maria Ramos is just 5ft 4in and father Luiz Jorge is 5ft 7in so they didn’t think it was down to genetics.
They later discovered her stature is down to a benign tumour on her pituitary gland, which has caused an overproduction of growth hormone and a condition called giantism.
Elisane, from Salinopolis, Brazil, had no idea about the tumour until 2010 when she had tests on live TV, as her family was unable to pay for them.
Known unofficially as ‘Brazil’s tallest woman’, she married Francinaldo Da Silva Carvalho, 31, in 2015 and he stands at just 5ft 4in – 1ft 4in shorter than her
‘Since I was ten-years-old, I always noticed that there wasn’t something quite right as I was the only one in my family and class that stood at a staggering five-foot-nine-inches,’ Elisane said.
‘My mother is only five-foot-four-inches and my father is just five-foot-seven-inches, so it was a shock to our entire family when I was the tallest member at so young.
‘I began experiencing intense pain in my bones and a lot of pressure build up in my head which I believe was due to the excessive rate I was growing, so we decided to visit a medical professional./p>
‘They suggested performing a few routine tests to get to the bottom of why I was so tall, but as my family were unable to pay for the medical costs, this wasn’t an option.
‘However, a national television network approached my family after hearing my story and in 2010, we flew to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where I appeared on national television and had all my tests done for free on behalf of the network.
‘Although this was embarrassing, I was just glad to finally have an answer and to stop the pain that I was going through as a result of my height.
‘As I received the results, medics found that I had a benign tumour growing on my pituitary gland which had caused an overproduction in my growth hormone and was the reason for my condition.’
Growing up wasn’t easy for Elisane and she was often bullied, with people calling her names like ‘giraffe’, ‘lamppost’ and ‘giant’.
The comments impacted her mental health significantly and she eventually left school completely.
‘I remember locking myself up at home as I felt so sick with the hurtful comments and words people were constantly saying to me,’ said Elisane.
‘I decided to give up and it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, as I wanted to continue studying but I knew that I wouldn’t last any longer in that environment.
‘At the time, I was seventeen-years-old, so my parents didn’t have much to say on the matter and I was really lost about where to go next in life.’
In 2011, she met Francinaldo and they quickly fell in love, despite the height difference.
‘I felt an instant connection the moment I met him, that I didn’t even notice his height. Francinaldo stands at just five-foot-four-inches, which is nearly two-foot shorter than me – but I didn’t care,’ she said.
‘Although he was curious about my height and condition, he didn’t make any evil comments, nor did he judge me for the way I looked.
‘I fell for him right there and then, as he was the first person to treat me like a human being and not some freak of nature.
‘Although there is an obvious height difference, we don’t see it as an issue as we love each other just the way we are and wouldn’t want anything to change.
‘In 2012, Francinaldo proposed to me and even though I was just a teenager, I wanted to spend my life with him.’
They married in September 2015 and went on to have a son, Angelo, three, who is currently 3ft 1in.
Elisane said: ‘Although we used to get comments from people in the street when we were walking together, I’m no longer the centre of attention now we have our beautiful son.
‘Angelo is already three-foot-three-inches at three-years-old, but I don’t believe he will grow to be as tall as me because I don’t think my condition is hereditary.
‘I think he will grow up to be average height – but even if not, he should embrace the unique asset he has been given.’
Elisane is now working towards becoming a professional model, which has been a dream since she was a teenager.
She said: ‘Although I haven’t been successful just yet, I usually go out and take professional photos of myself and add it to my portfolio to pass on to agencies.
‘Despite no agencies picking up on them yet, these photo sessions have helped my levels of confidence immensely and I have started to love myself for who I am.
‘I get comments from those online who see my photos, who have called me the ‘tallest woman in Brazil’ and although this is probably true, nothing has been made official yet.’
Although she spent many years feeling self conscious about her height, she says her family have helped her learn to love who she is.
She added: ‘I have learned to love myself for my unique height, as there’s no-one quite like me and I think that’s rather special.
‘I have found a good man to love, have a wonderful son, a beautiful family and I am grateful that God has taught me to overcome these obstacles in life.
‘Don’t let people’s evil comments interfere with your life, as it’s not for them to judge you based on how you look or who you love – stay true to yourself and you’ll live happily.’