The half man half tree still hope to be cured

August 27th, 2008 - 6:25 pm ICT by Bupha Ravirot  

A former fisherman, Dede, from Indonesia feared he would be killed by tree-like growths covering his body has been given hope of recovery by an American doctor.

Dede lives in a village in Indonesia with his two late teen children, he has an extraordinary skin condition: Root like structures growing out of his body after knee accident when he was 15 - the branches grow up to 5cm a year and which protrude from his hands and feet, and welts covering his whole body.

Dr Anthony Gaspari, American dermatology expert of the University of Maryland taken the tree man for his study. Samples of the lesions and Dede’s blood was conducted, he concluded that it is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a fairly common infection that usually causes small warts to develop on sufferers.

Rare genetic fault that impedes his immune system, which made him unable to contain the warts was found to be the cause.

The virus was therefore able to “hijack the cellular machinery of his skin cells”, ordering them to produce massive amounts of the substance that caused the tree-like growths known as “cutaneous horns” on his hands and feet.

The doctor said that Dede will not have a normal body but warts size can be reduced, hopefully he he will be living a more normal life after 3 months.

“I would like to bring him to the US to run tests on where his immune condition has come from, but I would need funding and to get him a visa as well as someone to cover the costs of the tests,”said Dr Gaspari.

“Half Man Half Tree”, part of the “My Shocking Story” series, will be shown on the Discovery Channel at 9pm on Nov 15.

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Posted in Feature, Health, Health Science, Odd news |