A Bangladeshi man dubbed the “tree man” because of the bark-like warts on his body has undergone life-changing surgery that doctors believe may have cured him of his condition.
Abul Bajander has had a total of 16 operations to remove 11lbs of growths from his hands and feet since visiting doctors a year ago. The former rickshaw driver, 27, is one of only four people in the world with the condition.
Abul was diagnosed with epidermodysplasia verruciformis, an extremely rare genetic condition known as “tree man disease” that left him unable to hold his baby daughter.
Abul is currently recovering in hospital and will be allowed to go home in 30 days. His surgeon, Dr Samanta Lal Sen, believes Abul could be the first person to be cured of this disease, if the warts do not grow back.
Abul said the pain of condition had been “unbearable”, and just last year an Indonesian man died of the condition, but now Abul is looking forward to a whole new life.
“I never thought I would ever be able to hold my kid with my hands,” said Abul, “Now I feel so much better, I can hold my daughter in my lap and play with her. I can’t wait to go back home.”
Abul, who comes from a small village in southern Bangladesh, became something of a celebrity after his condition was widely covered in international media.
He told of how the disease had affected his life — his wife, who he met before he contracted the disease, was warned against marrying him by her own parents.
Abul first thought the growths were harmless, but when they covered his hands and feet, leaving him in agony, he was forced to give up work.
Now, Abul is planning to set up a small business using donations received from people around the world who heard his story.
“I was so worried about raising my daughter. I hope the curse won’t return again,” he says.