Sharonda Johnson was on her way to the bathroom when she broke her leg and needed to go to the hospital.
Crews could not get Johnson down the hallway, so they cut open an exterior wall of her second-floor apartment on Scott Street near Wilmington Street at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
"There was a lot of debris scattered on the ground," neighbor Doris Hargis said." They had to call the ambulance at least three times for her since I've been here."
Firefighters used a ladder truck and a pulley system to get Johnson down to the ground. She was taken to the hospital, but doctors said she lost her leg.
Firefighters said they go through special training to deal with unique rescues.
Dennis Spellman from the Houston Housing Authority said the they urged Johnson to move to a lower level because of health concerns.
They were in the process of finishing the paperwork when this emergency occurred.
"When she moved in, she was in a wheelchair," said Spellman. "We asked her about that and she said it was a temporary condition because she had medical conditions with her feet. But, over time, her medical condition deteriorated."
The effects of rapid weight gain can be physical as well as psychological.
Psychotherapist Stephanie Bathmare, who has treated hundreds of patients regarding weight, said obesity is more complex than people think.
"There's a lot of shame that surfaces when you're overweight. Your constantly aware of people looking at you and making judgments," she said.
For more on the effects and prevention of obesity, visit the American Obesity Association.