A Bangladeshi man who suffers from an extremely rare genetic disease known as “tree man” syndrome is in headline again as he is back in hospital and faces more surgery after the condition returned after multiple operations in 2016.
He has undergone 25 surgeries since 2016 to remove the large, heavy warts from his hands and feet at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. However, he has presented himself at the hospital again because the growths have returned again.
“I made a mistake by leaving the hospital. I sought alternative treatment but could not find any. I now understand I should have stayed and continued the treatment here,” Abul Bajandar said.
He lived in the hospital’s expensive private cabin with his wife and daughter for nearly two years during his first round of treatment.
The father of one suffers from epidermodysplasia verruciform is, an extremely rare genetic condition also known as “tree-man syndrome”.
Samanta Lal Sen, a plastic surgeon at the hospital, said doctors would resume treatment “very soon”, adding the growths had spread to other parts of his body.
“I requested Bajandar to return as soon as possible. Now we have to start from the very beginning. We’ll have to conduct more surgeries,” Sen told a news agency.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also promise to provide free treatment for Bajandar after his plight captured the sympathies of the country. Father of one child, he lived in the hospital’s expensive private cabin with his wife and daughter for nearly two years during his first round of treatment.
Plastic surgeon Samanta Lal Sen added that fewer than half a dozen people worldwide have the disease. His hospital also treated a young Bangladeshi girl suffering from the same condition in 2017.
However, while doctors declared her surgery a success in 2017, her father later revealed that her growths had returned in even greater numbers, prompting the family to halt treatment and return to their village.
Before the surgeries, Bajandra could not eat, drink, brush his teeth or take a shower by himself.
“I want to live like a normal person. I just want to be able to hold my daughter properly and hug her,” he told CNN at the time.
In 2017, the surgeries had left him in “very good shape,” enabling him to eat and write using his own hands, Sen told CNN in a previous report, but now more treatment is needed. The government bore the cost of his treatment in 2016 and Sen said this will extend to any new surgeries Bajandra now needs.
(With agency inputs)
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