For 20 years, Abul Bajandra has struggled with an extremely rare genetic skin disease that causes massive, bark-like warts to sprout on his hands and feet. Now, the Bangladeshi “Tree Man” is scheduled to undergo a series of life-changing surgeries to remove the lesions.
According to CNN, the father and former rickshaw driver first noticed the unusual growths on his hands when he was 10. He tried to cut them off himself, but the tree-like warts only worsened with time. Soon, Bajandra had dozens of “roots” on his hands and feet, and some smaller ones on his legs. He could no longer lift a fork, let alone drive a rickshaw.
Bajandra has epidermodysplasia verruciformis, or "tree man," disease, a condition that’s characterized by an extreme susceptibility to human papillomavirus (HPV). These uncontrolled infections cause branch-like skin growths to develop across the body, particularly on the hands and feet. Only a handful of people have been diagnosed with the disease, and doctors say that Bajandra’s rare case is one of the most extraordinary cases they’ve ever seen.
Word of Bajandra’s plight soon spread to doctors at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Bangladesh’s largest state hospital. A team of surgeons offered to remove the growths, and the hospital agreed to waive operation costs.
Removing the warts will require multiple operations, which could stretch out over a period up to six months. According to the Associated Free Press, doctors are conducting tests to assess whether Bajandra’s warts can be removed without hurting major nerves or causing other health issues. In the meantime, Bajandra and his physicians are hopeful that he’ll soon be able to live a normal life. To learn more about Bajandra's upcoming surgeries, check out the above video courtesy of India Today.
All photos courtesy of YouTube.