Friday, May 11, 2012

The Man Who Turned into a Tree

A 35-year-old Indonesian man named Dede suffered a simple cut as a teenager and thereafter began growing tree-like warts all over his body. The warts soon worsened into mossy,

 branching growths, virtually incapacitating him. His wife left him, he was out of a job, and he was made the village freak. Doctors could never figure out what Dede’s condition was, and the growths worsened with each passing year. It wasn’t until an American dermatologist traveled to see Dede’s odd growths and cutaneous horns that the proper diagnosis was made: Dede was simply suffering from HPV, or human papilloma virus. HPV causes warts (frequently of the genital variety) and is quite common in humans. Unfortunately for Dede, he happens to have a rare genetic flaw that causes his immune system to be as weak as someone with AIDS. The chances of this genetic fault? Less than one in a million. Fortunately for Dede, proper treatment and several surgeries offer the promise of a normal life. The doctor is also trying to get more American support for this special patient.