Meet the tallest man in the world | 60 Minutes Australia

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 I'm 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


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 and there

must be one upside it would be handy for

cleaning you'd sealed oh the dust and

dirt up there wouldn't you yeah I said

but 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


but when I spend time with this gentle

giant I realize the difficulties

outweigh the benefits this is where you

really have to be careful 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 Ruth is too low they can

be hard in fact 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 mums fat Lana when he was

one year old he was born big like almost

11 pounds everyone was happy in old

countries the bigger baby's happier

parents by the age one year old he was

size of three year old so that I was

very concerned by the time he was six

Eagle was a staggering six feet tall

Flores 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 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 vet 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 digger has tumor I suffer minor

heart attack what did you fear the most

it heave all 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 we

never ever planned on staying here


unfortunately American surgeons couldn't

remove all of the tumor medication only

available in America was the only way to

slow his body down at the ankle dr. Greg

garrison is Egil's doctor and he knows

that tumor 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

they told the comforts of home are

different to most this place was


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

dog and make me

feel like a hobbit I can see what you

mean like it's a perfect type for you

and I've put a jump up my feet don't

touch the ground there yeah and if he

goes sighs didn't need reinforcing

here's his favorite comparison 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


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


I had to base we 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


sometimes I have pain that so severe it

in my head and a picture of a truck

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


doctor 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 have 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 we're

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 team

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

guilty them

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


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 you're the only

man in the world

just plain 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 are 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

as one away all going away right now

right now I 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

with an unknown lifespan and so many

restrictions a few spins around the

block is like a rocket ride into space


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