World’s Tallest Man Receives Gifts

Leonid Stadnik of Podolyantsi, Ukraine has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest human on Earth.
In 2006, Stadnik was officially measured at 2.57 meters tall (8 feet 5 inches), surpassing a Chinese man to claim the title of the world's tallest person.

His growth spurt began at age 14 after a brain operation that apparently stimulated the overproduction of growth hormone. Doctors say he has been growing ever since.

While he may appear intimidating due to his size, Stadnik charms visitors with a broad grin and childlike laugh. He seems at times like a lonely boy trapped in a giant's body, even keeping stuffed toys on his pillow.

Life has not been easy for Stadnik. He had to quit his job as a farm veterinarian because he could not afford shoes that fit, and suffered from frostbite. But since his recognition by the Ukraine government four years ago, he has received help from all over. Strangers have provided shoes and clothes to fit him, an oversized bicycle and exercise machine, and running water for his home. The president of Ukraine even gave him a new car- although he doesn’t fit into it well.
"I have always dreamt that my life and the life of my loved ones ... would become more comfortable," Stadnik said. "My dream is coming true."

His neighbors joke that they may also benefit from Stadnik's success. "Of course we are proud of him _ we may have gas here soon thanks to him," said Nila Kravchuk, 75.


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