Mon 22 Dec, 2008 12:24 am
Tree Man's branches grow back
An Indonesian man dubbed the "tree man" because of the gnarled warts all over his body has said his condition had worsened again, although he still hopes to recover and find a job.
Dede, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, returned home from hospital in August after six kilos of warts were surgically removed from his body and has been treated as an out-patient since.
"Those (warts) that were removed are growing again and started to reappear after I returned home," he said, adding that for a time he could go fishing and use a cell phone but now needed assistance again for such activity.
An American doctor has previously said the warts were the result of severe Human Pappiloma Virus (HPV) infection, but the disease is not life-threatening. Doctors say his case is thought to be the worst of its type in the world.
Over time, Dede was sacked from his job, deserted by his wife and shunned by neighbours as the horn-like extensions covered much of his body and stopped him working. He has two children.
"I'm not desperate but I want to recover," he added, speaking from his home in the remote West Java village of Tanjung Jaya.
For a while, Dede was forced to take part in a circus act in Bandung in order to make ends meet.
But after his case received widespread publicity, donations from the public and government help allowed him to get treatment.
He has also been able to buy some land to grow rice and a second-hand car so his relatives can bring him to hospital.
I had thought he was on the way to recovery.
Is it insensitive to be glad he has strong roots in the community?