A 26-year-old Bangladeshi man has undergone the first of several surgeries to help cure a rare skin disorder called Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis, also known as “tree man illness.” The disease creates warts on a patient’s body that resemble bark, which is how the name was derived.
Abul Bajandar, who is unable to use his hands, was admitted to a hospital in Dhaka in January. At that time his right hand was operated on, but it’s not a quick fix; doctors say it could take up to a dozen surgeries to remove the growths.
Bajandar is believed to be the fourth person in the world to suffer from tree man illness. While doctors in the Reuters video above are optimistic that they can help Bajandar permanently, the disease is defined by the US National Library of Medicine as a “lifelong” genetic disorder of the immune system. According to Ruptly, it was first diagnosed by physicians Felix Lewandowsky and Wilhelm Lutz in the 1920s, and the website’s analysis is that it is unlikely Bajandar “will ever be completely cured of his ailment.”
Fellow EV-sufferer Dede Koswara became the subject of international intrigue several years ago when his ‘Treeman’ condition featured in a number of documentaries.
The Indonesian required several surgeries each year to keep the growing ‘tree bark’ warts at bay.
He died in January this year from organ failure at the age of 45.
Koswara had been receiving treatment for the disease for nearly a decade.
Koswara was profiled on First to Know in 2014. You can learn more about him below.