Sunday, December 21, 2008


Dede Koswara, the Tree Man of Java, had 14 pounds of warts removed from his hands and feet. After being discharged from the hospital, Dede showed his ability to grip a pen. However, he's suffered a setback as the bark-like warts have began to grow back, closing up the gaps between his digits leaving him unable to carry out basic tasks.

Dede's plight came to the attention of the world last year after reported on an American doctor who claimed to have identified his condition, and proposed a treatment that could transform his life.

The tree-like welts covering his body were caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which defects in Dede's immune system left him unable to fight, according to Dr Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland.

After the publicity generated by the article and a television documentary, the Indonesian government intervened to fast-track his treatment.

Dede went under the knife for his first operation in January. When spoke to him in hospital in March he described the pleasure of being able to walk without pain for the first time in 20 years.

He also expressed his hopes for the future. "What I really want first is to get better and find a job. But then, one day, who knows? I might meet a girl and get married," he said.

After surgery, the doctors warned him the warts may return but his condition is no longer life threatening.


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