Tree Man of Bangladesh: Father with bark-like growths says he wants hands amputating

'I cannot bear the pain anymore, I can't sleep at night, I asked doctors to cut them off'

Colin Drury
Tuesday 25 June 2019 08:45
Tree Man of Bangladesh: father with bark-like growths says he wants hands amputating

A Bangladeshi father known as "Tree Man" because of bark-like growths across his body has said he wants his hands amputated to relieve him of the pain.

Abul Bajandar has had 25 operations since 2016 to remove the warts, caused by a rare genetic condition.

But the growths have only continued to spread and get larger, the 28-year-old says.

"I cannot bear the pain anymore, I can't sleep at night,” he told the Agence France Presse news agency. “I asked the doctors to cut off my hands so I can at least get some relief.”

The father-of-one suffers with epidermodysplasia verruciformis, a skin condition which has been reported in fewer than a dozen people.

It causes the eruption of warts on the body’s limbs and is thought to be exacerbated by weak immune systems. Sufferers are highly prone to skin cancer.

Doctors treating Mr Bajandar had previously believed they had beaten the disease but he suffered a relapse in May last year – with growths coming back bigger and quicker than before.

He says he would now like to travel abroad for better treatment – but does not have the money to cover the expenses.

Samanta Lal Sen, the chief plastic surgeon at Dhaka Medical College Hospital where Mr Bajandar has been treated, said a board of seven doctors will discuss the case this week.

The same hospital also treated a young Bangladeshi girl suffering from the condition in 2017.

Doctors declared Sahana Khatun’s surgery a success, but the then 10-year-old’s father later said the growths had returned in even greater numbers before the family halted the treatment and returned to their village.

In the condition’s most famous case Dede Koswara, from Indonesia, had some 6kg of warts removed by American doctors in 2008 before he died from complications related to the condition aged just 42.

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