Dede Koswara, who I wrote about last year, has the rather unfortunate nickname of ‘the tree-man’ due to his unusual appearance.
Since that last post, Dede has had a large amount of warts cut from his body, leading him to hope for a more normal and independent life.
When he was discharged from hospital in September Dede, who has had the tree-like warts since his teenage years, was happy to demonstrate his new-found ability of gripping a pen, something he has not been able to do for many years.
THE WARTS ARE RETURNING
Unfortunately, however, the growths have returned, meaning that the gaps between Dede’s fingers and toes have now closed up again, making basic tasks impossible to perform once again.
Dede is still able to smoke by balancing a cigarette between his first and middle fingers but has otherwise lost most of his manual dexterity.
HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS
If you are wondering how Dede ended up looking the way he does then the answer lies in the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
Normally this can be fought by the body’s immune system but Dede has a rare defect which means that the HPV actually manifests itself as warts that look like tree-type growths.
Following publicity on television after a visit by Dr Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland, the Indonesian government stepped in to give Dede treatment as quickly as possible.
Subsequently, he had his first operation back in January last year.
Even though the warts are now growing back, it is unlikely that they will pose any risk to his life.