Twenty-six-year-old Abul Bajandar, also called Tree Man, will undergo surgery to remove the huge bark-like warts on his arms and feet. The operation will be performed in Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), Bangladesh’s largest state-run hospital, which will pay for all treatment costs.
The Bangladeshi father’s warts have been estimated to weigh at least five kilogrammes. Bajandar, from the southern district of Khulna, thought these warts were harmless.
However, the condition made Bajandar unable to work as a bicycle-puller. The warts began to appear when he was still a teenager but spread rapidly four years ago. Currently, dozens of roots, which are up to three inches, have spread to both hands and some small ones can be seen on Bajandar’s legs.
Epidermodysplasia verruciformis, popularly known as tree man disease, is a very rare genetic skin disorder that causes skin growths. Doctors will perform tests to examine whether the root-like warts can be removed without inflicting damage on major nerves and cause other health issues.
Apparently, Bajandar has tried cutting the warts on his own but the pain was too much to bear so he went to village homeopath and herbal specialist, both of which have made the condition worse. He also consulted to doctors in India but the family could not afford to pay for an operation.
Bajandar was known as Tree Man in their village. Over the years, hundreds of people have flocked in their home just to see him.
DMCH director Samanta Lal Sen notes that this is the first case of the tree man disease in Bangladesh. However, three cases have already been reported worldwide.
One famous case was Dede Koswara, an Indonesian fisherman who also have the growths like Bajandar. Dede was featured in Discovery Channel’s Half Man Half Tree program in 2008 where a series of operations to remove the warts were shown.