They say that tall guys have an easier time landing girlfriends than short ones. But don’t tell that to Joelison Fernandes da Silva.
The 7ft 8in Brazilian man was so embarrassed by his height that he spent most of his life cloistered in his home to avoid the teasing and stares that he faced when going to school or even out on the street. Things got so bad for him that he eventually dropped out of school during his teenage years.
"I saw myself as abnormal," the 28-year-old man, who is currently Brazil’s tallest person, told Metro.
The rough life for Brazil’s "gentle giant," however, began to change when at the age of 21 he had an operation to remove a benign tumor on his pituitary gland and his gigantism came under control. His confidence has soared and he has become a bit of a celebrity in his hometown of Paraiba, where he has attracted a number of admirers.
One of those admirers was 21-year-old Evem Medeiros.
"The day I saw her I think it was love at first sight," Fernandes da Silva said of his 5-foot wife.
While Medeiros is almost three feet shorter than her husband, the two are making their so-called "long-distance relationship" work even if it shocked her parent’s when she announced who her new love was.
"[My father] told me, ‘Daughter, I told you to get a man, a great man. You exaggerated’," she said.
The one problem the new couple has run into has nothing to do with height, though, but with Joelison’s mother Ivanilda.
"I get really jealous because I dedicated my life to him and when I had to share him with someone else it really wasn’t easy," she said, adding that she still gives her son his medications. "I have not delegated that to that girl," she said.