Abul Bajandar of Bangladesh is undergoing several surgeries after massive growths caused by a rare skin disease have taken over his life.
The Tree Man of Bangladesh, as he is known, is undergoing a series of surgeries to remove the massive bark-like growths on his body that resemble the gnarled texture of tree roots.
Abul Bajandar, a 26 year-old man from Khulna suffers from a rare disease known as epidermodysplasia verruciformis, a hereditary disorder that causes extreme susceptibility to infections from certain strains of the human papilloma virus, which then cause the skin growths.
According to reporting by the Daily Mail, Bajandar’s first operation in January removed growths that had been forming over several years and weighed at least five kilograms (11 pounds).
Samanta Lal Sen, director of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital facility where Bajandar is being treated, said Bajandar would need up to 15 operations in total to rid his body of the growths, which may take six months to one year, according to the Daily Mail.
“The first operation has given me hope,” Bajandar told the Daily Mail. “I don't want to return to my village without clearing my hands and feet. I want to get back to my old life.”
Bajandar is reported to be a father of one and formerly made a living as a rickshaw puller until his condition stopped him. The growths on his hands have become so bad he has lost the ability to perform basic actions such as using cutlery and brushing his teeth.
The Daily Mail reports Bajandar has become somewhat of a regional celebrity with people traveling to his hometown see him over the years and hundreds visiting him in hospital. The notoriety Bajandar has gained because of his condition led to charitable support which has made his medical treatment possible.
Bajandar is one of only a handful of known cases of epidermodysplasia verruciformis to have existed in modern medical history and in all cases patients have been successfully treated with extensive and repeated skin surgeries, though some are required on an ongoing basis.