Tree Man

Tree Man Dede, an Indonesian fisherman of 37 years of age, has perplexed doctors around the world with is strange physical condition.

When he was a teenager, Dede had an accident that ended with some wounds on his knee; eventually, roots started to grow in his hands and feet, preventing him from having a normal life.

This disease was later deduced by an American doctor, Dr Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland; he concluded that said disease was a result of an infection caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that causes warts to develop on the sufferer’s body. Some doctors wondered how did said infection ended up covering the man’s body with root-like warts, known as “cutaneous horns”, but Doctor Gaspari answered their inquisitions by stating that Dede suffered an uncommon genetic fault that prevents the immune system to contain the warts.

A treatment has been developed by doctor Gaspari, wich consists of daily doses of a synthetic form of Vitamin A, which has been shown to arrest the growth of warts in severe cases of HPV; though the most resilient warts could then be frozen off and the growths on his hands and feet surgically removed.

However, the doctor didn’t realize how much of a success these surgeries were going to be, for Dede Kosware went through the exhausting number of nine surgeries in order to remove the root-like warts. After two years of treatment, Dede has now minimal warts covering part of his hands and face, but he can now live a fairly normal life without the warts getting in his way.

"He cannot be 100 per cent cured, but his life quality has improved. If once he depended on others to do his activities, now he can eat by himself, use his hand to write, use the cell phone," said Rachmad Dinata, one of the doctors who has treated Dede at the Hasan Sadikin provincial hospital; however, now he may do things that he previously couldn’t do due to his foot-long root-like warts.

Dede went under the knife for his first operation in January. During an interview done to him in the hospital in March, he described the pleasure of being able to walk without pain for the first time in 20 years, and he expressed his wishes for the future by stating that “What I really want first is to get better and find a job. But then, one day, who knows? I might meet a girl and get married.”

Though his warts may appear later on, his condition has been proven to be no longer life threatening.

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