rumeysa gelgi through the years split image

The world’s tallest woman living grew at a rapid rate until reaching her history making height.

Rumeysa Gelgi (Türkiye) now stands at a staggering 215.16 cm (7 ft 0.7 in).

Her incredible life and support of those with visible differences is the subject of Guinness World Records’ first feature-length documentary Rumeysa: Walking Tall, which is available to stream from 21 December, only on Rakuten TV.

Ahead of the GWR Studios film, we’re taking a closer look at Rumeysa’s life through her measurements, never-before-seen pictures taken throughout her life and some key moments…

Birth – Age 10

1 January 1997 – Rumeysa is born weighing 5.9 kg (13 lb) and measuring 59 cm (23.2 in) – but as impressive as that is, Rumeysa is far from being the longest baby and heaviest birth in history – although she does reveal in the documentary that she was a natural birth. Rumeysa was born with Weaver syndrome, a very rare condition that causes accelerated growth.

10 days

16 May 1997 – Rumeysa has grown to 82 cm (32.28 in) by the time she’s four months old

9 months

December 1997 – Aged just 11 months, Rumeysa has the first of two major surgeries during her childhood. She undergoes open heart surgery.

24 February 1998 – Rumeysa measures 104 cm (40.94 in) by age 13 months

15 months

1 and a half years

28 May 1999 – Aged two, Rumeysa is 138 cm (4 ft 6 in) tall

2 and a half years

Summer 2000 – Aged three-and-a-half, Rumeysa has her second major operation – umbilical hernia surgery

3 and a half years

4 years

5 years

Mid 2003 – Rumeysa begins treatment to stop her overgrowth. The treatment continues for the next three years and is successful although she continues to grow for a while longer.

8 September 2003 – At age six, Rumeysa is 172 cm (5 ft 7 in) tall

23 January 2004 – By age seven, Rumeysa has grown to 179 cm (5 ft 10 in)

7 and a half years

September 2005 – Rumeysa starts homeschooling at the age of eight. She skips 1st grade and starts from the 2nd grade of elementary school.

8 years

18 March 2007 – At age 10, Rumeysa is measured at 204 cm (6 ft 8 in)

Ages 11-20

1 January 2010 – Rumeysa turns 13!

15 October 2012 – Aged 15, Rumeysa measures in at 210 cm (6 ft 10 in)

23 December 2013 – A week before her 17th birthday, Rumeysa has surgery for scoliosis. She spends New Year’s Eve and her 17th birthday in hospital and isn’t discharged until March 2014.

19 March 2014 – Just a few weeks after returning home from hospital, Rumeysa becomes the tallest teenager living (female) after measuring 213.6 cm (7 ft 0.09 in)

17 years

9 July 2014 – Rumeysa receives her certificate in a special ceremony and her Guinness World Records title is announced to the world

1 January 2015 – Rumeysa turns 18!

June 2016 – Rumeysa graduates from high school

Age 21 – now

September 2020 – Aged 23, Rumeysa begins training in web development

2021-2022 – Rumeysa earns multiple professional certificates in web development – one from Codecademy in June 2021, a second from the World Wide Web Consortium in September 2021 and another from Harvard University in November 2022

23 May 2021 – At age 24, Rumeysa is measured once more and becomes the tallest woman living at a height of 215.16 cm (7 ft 0.07 in)

24 years

October 2021 – Rumeysa is presented with her certificate while filming with Guinness World Records and her iconic record status is announced to the world 

19 February 2022 – Rumeysa’s hands, fingers and back are measured – she earns the records for largest hands on a living person (female) (24.93 cm; 9.81 in), longest finger on a living person (female) (11.2 cm; 4.40 in), widest hand span on a living person (female) (22.6 cm; 8.9 in) and longest back on a living person (female) (59.90 cm; 23.58 in)

28 September 2022 – Rumeysa boards her first ever flight, heading from Istanbul to California, USA – it’s her first time leaving her home country. During her trip, Rumeysa spends time with some other Guinness World Records title holders – see what they had to say about her here.

Rumeysa now

15 March 2023 – Rumeysa returns to Türkiye 

21 December 2023 - Rumeysa: Walking Tall is released across Europe on Rakuten TV

Rumeysa: Walking Tall will be available to stream from 21 December, only on Rakuten TV.

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