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Video Meet the tallest man in the world | 60 Minutes Australia
13:50   |   today at 11:38


  • we all want to fit in that's just the
  • way we're wired but for the young man
  • you're about to meet blending into the
  • crowd is an almost impossible dream
  • Igor is dangerously tall then getting
  • bigger by the day while the first thing
  • you notice about Igor is undoubtedly his
  • height spend some time with him and you
  • realize he's also charming funny complex
  • and heartbreakingly lonely he also has
  • the biggest smile I've ever seen you
  • just have to find a way to coax it out
  • of him here in Midwest America life is
  • quiet and nothing much stand out unless
  • you're this man what is your shoe size
  • I don't know nobody's ever been able to
  • tell me they're off the chart yes and
  • exactly how tall are you seven feet and
  • eight point three three inches tall just
  • shy of eight foot
  • yeah look where am I to you on I'm just
  • on six foot here yeah and I've got to
  • tell you on first meeting you're
  • overwhelming that's what most people
  • tell me
  • [Music]
  • a 29 ago Bob Kavinsky is America's
  • tallest man a record he's proud of but
  • would rather not have
  • looking at the world from my height it's
  • uh it's a different experience every day
  • I always have to be thinking about in
  • mind injuring my life
  • nothing is built for my size so
  • everything is a challenge except for a
  • couple of things there must be one
  • upside it would be handy for cleaning it
  • sealed all the dust and dirt up there
  • wouldn't you yeah I don't know I don't
  • like cleaning very much and getting
  • President Barack Obama's attention in a
  • crowd is easy he's a tall man - yeah but
  • have a look at you compared to him
  • [Music]
  • but when I spend time with this gentle
  • giant I realize the difficulties
  • outweigh the benefits this is where you
  • really have to care don't you simply
  • moving through a hotel for how we do it
  • is like maneuvering through an obstacle
  • course so do you ever go into places
  • where you don't fit the roof is too low
  • they can be hard in France sometimes you
  • don't have a choice
  • but his biggest challenge is not what's
  • around him it's what's inside him
  • Igor is a medical mystery because he
  • keeps on growing and saving him is now a
  • race against time does he have a
  • projective lifespan
  • this is so unique that we don't know we
  • simply don't medical science simply
  • doesn't know what his lifespan is
  • capable of being from the second he came
  • into this world in Ukraine Igor was well
  • big and there was no baby growth chart
  • that could keep up with him here he is
  • being held by mum Svetlana when he was
  • one year old he was born big like almost
  • 11 pounds everyone was happy in old
  • countries the bigger baby is happier
  • parents by the age one year old he was
  • size of 3 year old so that I was very
  • concerned by the time he was 6 eagle was
  • a staggering six feet tall horse five
  • six years I thought that was terrible
  • heavy Lord and I don't know if I can do
  • it
  • I learned that - not heavy at all do you
  • think eagle was a gift to you yeah years
  • in middle school in high school I would
  • hit my head three or four times a day
  • and I don't know why it's not like I
  • would forget how tall I am it's just
  • there's a lot of people around and I get
  • distracted and I stop paying attention
  • and I smacked my head on the wall or I
  • hit I had an exit sign and sometimes
  • I've broken things but that's that's the
  • way life's been
  • and life has been testing for Egor and
  • his mum from very early on svet Lana
  • knew deep in her heart her boy needed
  • help she began a medical quest to
  • explain his mysterious growth and
  • finally doctors discovered the cause a
  • very rare tumor buried deep in his brain
  • when you found out it was a tumor did
  • that explain things for you know at that
  • time when he heard that city and doctor
  • came after City neurosurgeon and he told
  • the Tiger has tumor
  • I suffer minor heart attack what did you
  • fear the most it evil day
  • Eagles tumor was pushing on his
  • pituitary gland causing it to secrete
  • abnormal levels of growth hormone the
  • only way to stop him growing was to
  • remove the tumor but it's highly risky
  • surgery and doctors in Ukraine wouldn't
  • operate worried he would die Egor and
  • his mum wrote to the renowned Mayo
  • Clinic in America appealing to
  • specialists there to save his life we
  • naturally thought we were all coming to
  • the United States for a month so you
  • never ever plan on staying here
  • [Music]
  • unfortunately American surgeons couldn't
  • remove all of the tumor medication only
  • available in America was the only way to
  • slow his body down dr. Greg garrison is
  • Egil's doctor and he knows that Schumer
  • like an old enemy unfortunates in a
  • location that makes it impossible to
  • completely eliminate tumor for him which
  • means that it continues to secrete
  • growth hormone and he continues to grow
  • will he ever stop growing it's unlikely
  • that he'll ever stop growing we're using
  • medications to try and slow the effects
  • of that growth hormone down for him and
  • to suppress that pituitary gland as much
  • as we can but unfortunately yes he
  • continues to add height and he continues
  • to add weight come on in thank you very
  • much so as you can see our doors in the
  • house are need to be feet tall when
  • you're nearly eight thate all the
  • comforts of home are different to most
  • this place was custom-built for Eagle we
  • have what they call cathedral ceilings
  • because we wanted to be able to feel
  • comfortable at all times so they're
  • unable to you know stretch and get
  • dressed without constantly hitting my my
  • fists on the ceiling even his couch he's
  • handmade to accommodate his comfort and
  • make me
  • feel like a hobbit I can see what you
  • mean like it's a perfect height for you
  • and I'm sorry jump my feet don't touch
  • the ground there yes and if he goes
  • sighs didn't need reinforcing here's his
  • favorite comparison god I don't even
  • come up to your first knuckle there at
  • all tell you what when you high-five
  • someone you must do some damage but
  • [Music]
  • while this giant enjoys sizing up and
  • showing off his castle
  • the reality of Eagles life is anything
  • but a fairy tale this is my prison bunk
  • as I call it because for for two and a
  • half years almost I had to basically
  • spend all day either on a couch or on my
  • bed the pain is shocking especially in
  • his fate does it help to move around
  • sometimes yeah I need to honey to kind
  • of stretch and stretch my leg
  • [Music]
  • sometimes I have pain that so severe it
  • in my head I had a picture of a truck
  • keep keeps running over my leg sometimes
  • three four hours at a time it's hard to
  • breathe I see black spots my heart
  • starts hurting there there have been
  • weeks where I basically don't get off
  • the couch
  • [Music]
  • dr. this is one of a goes x-rays the
  • left leg that gives him so much pain
  • what is causing all of that pain here he
  • had had a number of surgeries on this
  • leg and actually you can see some of the
  • holes left from some of the pins that
  • he's had placed in his leg gee all the
  • way up here all the way up the reason
  • for this particular surgery was to
  • offload parts of his foot that were
  • getting pressure ulcers and as a result
  • the surgeons wish to reshape the bones
  • of his leg to distribute that weight in
  • a different different fashion
  • in the past six years Igor has suffered
  • through a staggering 16 surgeries to
  • ease the pain but nothing has helped
  • I've never been more scared of my life
  • than during these six years that I've
  • had to stay at home but basically
  • because it's the first times in my life
  • where I've contemplated suicide because
  • the doctors don't understand their theme
  • there are still moments like that where
  • you know I think you know why why was I
  • brought this earth if if nobody can can
  • provide me with the kind of help that I
  • need how do you feel when you see him
  • suffering like that
  • I feel hopeless and helpless and then I
  • feel bad that I put him through all this
  • suffering I feel guilt in him
  • when everything else fails him Egor
  • escapes here to a Minnesota Lake that's
  • bigger than him where he goes fishing
  • alone it's a solitary and calm pursuit
  • and that's a tonic the doctors can't
  • prescribe for a young man who just wants
  • to blend in and relax
  • [Music]
  • I imagine at times you must feel like
  • the loneliest man in the world I feel
  • like I'm living in a desert and there's
  • nobody around me like we are the only
  • man in the world just bloody
  • heartbreaking mate what would make your
  • everyday life easier for the most part I
  • think that just the things normal people
  • take for granted it's it's basically did
  • the three things clothing shoes and
  • transportation I think that would be
  • something that if those three things
  • were taken care of there'll be a lot of
  • a lot of relief for me you get a sense
  • of that frustration when you ride in
  • Eagles custom-made and slightly crewed
  • van we have to lower the floors under
  • the drivers and passenger seat and put
  • put a rail rail system under them you
  • have to remember Eagles a young man just
  • 29 and the fact is he'd love to Cruise
  • in a convertible that's where we decided
  • to help
  • how's the pain now you're feeling it or
  • is it all gone away all going away right
  • now right now I mean this is a new a new
  • level of excitement that I'm not used to
  • it give me five for that yeah riding in
  • a convertible may not seem like such a
  • big deal but for Igor it is well I can't
  • stop smiling her with an unknown
  • lifespan and so many restrictions a few
  • spins around the block the human is like
  • a rocket ride into space
  • [Music]
  • that's what you call freedom not what's
  • fun should really go wow if you could
  • change anything what would you change I
  • would like to change the way the world
  • adapts to different people you just want
  • to fit in yeah hello I'm Tara Brown
  • thanks for watching to keep up with the
  • latest from 60 minutes Australia make
  • sure you subscribe to our channel you
  • can also download the 9 now app for full
  • episodes and other exclusive 60 minutes
  • content

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Igor is dangerously tall - 8 foot - and getting bigger by the day. While the first thing you notice about Igor is undoubtedly his height, spend some time with him and you realise he's also charming, funny, complex and heartbreakingly lonely. He also has the biggest smile you'll ever see - you just have to find a way to coax it out of him.

For forty years, 60 Minutes have been telling Australians the world’s greatest stories. Tales that changed history, our nation and our lives. Reporters Liz Hayes, Allison Langdon, Tara Brown, Charles Wooley, Liam Bartlett and Tom Steinfort look past the headlines because there is always a bigger picture. Sundays are for 60 Minutes.

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