After 16 surgeries spanning an entire year, Bangladesh’s "Tree Man” has been cured. Adul Bajandar, 27, has a rare disease called epidermodysplasia verruciformis that causes warts to grow uncontrollably on his hands and feet. His recovery marks the first time the condition has ever been cured.
The disease is a rare genetic disorder that causes individuals to be more susceptible to human papillomavirus (HPV) and develop skin tumors, The Washington Post reported. As a result, warts and skin tumors had grown all over Bajandar’s hands and feet, making it difficult to use the appendages. What’s more, if left to progress, the warts could ultimately have led to his death.
Bajandar’s surgeries first began in January 2016, with a preliminary operation to ensure that removing the warts would not cause any serious damage. Now, a year later, the warts are nearly all gone, with Bajandar needing only a few more operations for cosmetic reasons. His progress is remarkable: He can see his hands and feet, and even use them to eat, write on his own, and perform other tasks.
“Bajandar’s cure was a remarkable milestone in the history of medical science,” said Samanta Lal Sen, plastic surgery coordinator at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, The Washington Post reported. “We operated on him at least 16 times to remove the warts. The hands and feet are now almost fine.”
Epidermodysplasia verruciformis is an extremely rare genetic condition, with only four diagnoses to date. It causes individuals to become overrun by the HPV, a virus normally linked to genital warts and some forms of cancer. In most cases the virus does not lead to any health problems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, with nearly all sexually active men and women believed to contract the virus at some point in their lives. Thankfully, there is now a vaccine to protect against contracting most variations of HPV.
Although there is a possibility that Bajandar’s warts could grow back, for now he is just happy to be able to hold and play with his young daughter again.