Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dede, the Tree Man - WW

Dede's hands

Indonesian fisherman Dede, started developing 'roots' from his arms and feet after he accidentally cut his knee when he was 15. His whole body was covered with tree-like growths called "cutaneous horns". They were heavy and he was unable to perform any task.

Growing at a fast rate of 5 mm per month, when Dede tried to cut them off, they grew back even faster! He was turning into a tree!

Dede was married with 2 young kids. Later, his wife abandoned him. To feed his two young kids, he joined a local freak show to earn a living. He was often abused and ridiculed.

Dede with Dr Anthony Gaspari

Based on blood tests, Dr Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland found that Dede's condition was caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). A common human virus, known especially as a leading cause of warts and cancer. It is also the main cause of cervical cancer (95 % of the cases).

Dede after his surgery

In early 2008, 2.2 kg of horny wart tissue was removed from his body. Dede can finally hold a pen and play sudoku for the first time, after so many years. Once more he can use his hands, walk without pain, and even call his friends to chat. To allow Dede a better movement in his fingers, skin from his back and thigh was grafted onto damaged areas.

It's marvellous what the medical profession can do these days. Hopefully this man will regain some normality in his life.

*pictures from Discovery Channel

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Question No. 2

What is the main cause of cervical cancer?

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54 comments:

  1. I remember see a programme about him on tv. I am so glad he has some ise of his hands now.

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  2. Wow what an amazing story and testimony. I'm glad that he has some of a normal life back. Are his kids at risk for developing the disease?
    I'm surprised the wife left him with the kids...

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  3. Gosh... this is the first time I've heard of it. To think that all of us (the guys) went through the army bashing through the forest suffering multiple cuts in the process!

    Hope that he'll be able to lead a more normal life from now on.

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  4. Oh my goodness what is that kind oh my. I am surprise when i see it and this is my first time too...

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  5. I've heard of the Elephant Man, but not the tree man.

    Mine's shared now...come on down.

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  6. I've taped the programme on some dvd somewhere but haven't watched it.

    I cant complain about life after having seen his predicament.

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  7. I saw a documentary about this man on the Discovery Channel. It looks like he is getting better.

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  8. I saw this once on TV too. Thank goodness for the advance technology we have nowadays.
    I hope it all works out for the better with him.

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  9. Is that possibly? Thats weird and very sad. Happy WW.

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  10. :( i don't like to look at the pics... it's very sad :((

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  11. It is said that Human Papilloma Virus can cause horny wart tissue to grow on the body of the sufferer. It is also mentioned that HPV can also cause cervical cancer. Since cervical cancer is a 'woman's disease' would'nt it be true to say that women are more prone to getting the tree-like growths as well.

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  12. ecl,
    That's sad. And the wife left him when he's in need of someone besides him!

    And I never knew there's such disease exists!

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  13. A tree man! Never heard or seen one before! You went near him and took the shots or these are collected snaps. I hope his troubles end soon.

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  14. Hi, just reading through this and i'm really surprised that his condition is caused by HPV.

    HPV is a very very common virus that affects 1 out of every 2 men / women in their lives. There are many many strains of HPV and a few of these strains can cause cervical cancer. in fact, more than 90+% of cervical cancer is caused by the HPV virus.

    So i'm guessing that the strain that hit this man is a very rare strain but i cannot be sure.

    anyways, there is a vaccine available for cervical cancer and being a carrier of HPV and having been diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells in my cervix, i would encourage everyone to find out more about HPV and how they can prevent infection.

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  15. OMG...poor him. Ihope the doctor can help secure him.

    Please stop by also at my WW post : in HERE or HERE Thanks

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  16. Regina,
    His kids are certified healthy despite his medical condition. His wife probably can't take the pressure from public scrutiny, poverty ...etc. Sad.

    I'm actually surprised he could even get a wife.

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  17. stanley,
    I was reading up on HPV the whole night and it really scares me. It is a common virus which could affect every man or woman. *gulp*

    Where's my annual check-up reminder!?!?

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  18. Kok,
    Me too! I was fascinated when I saw his photos and a TV preview. But when I read more about his treatment and surgery, it gets intriguing. I'm going to do my annual check-up. No play play. :P

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  19. Indrani,
    I download these photos from Discovery Channel website. He's getting a better life, I wouldn't say normal right now. At least he can use his fingers and walk on his feet.

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  20. Anon
    Dede's rare condition :

    Dede's problem is that he has a rare genetic fault that impedes his immune system, meaning his body is unable to contain the warts.

    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.

    Dede's counts of a key type of white blood cell are so low that Dr Gaspari initially suspected he may have the Aids virus.

    But tests showed he did not, and it became clear that Dede's immune condition was something far rarer and more mysterious.

    Warts aside, he had enjoyed remarkable good health throughout his life - which would not be expected of someone with a suppressed immune system - and neither his parents nor his siblings have shown signs of developing lesions.

    "The likelihood of having his deficiency is less than one in a million," Dr Gaspari said.

    Dr Gaspari, who became involved in the case through a Discovery Channel documentary, believes that Dede's condition can be largely cleared up by a daily doses of a synthetic form of Vitamin A, which has been shown to arrest the growth of warts in severe cases of HPV.

    "He won't have a perfectly normal body but the warts should reduce in size to the point where he could use his hands," Dr Gaspari said.

    "Over the course of three to six months the warts should be come smaller and fewer in number. He will be living a more normal life."

    The most resilient warts could then be frozen off and the growths on his hands and feet surgically removed.

    Dr Gaspari hopes to get the necessary drugs free of charge from pharmaceutical firms. They would then be administered by Indonesian doctors under his supervision.

    Still intrigued by the origins of Dede's peculiar immune condition, the doctor would like to fly him to the United States for further examination, but fears the financial and bureaucratic barriers would prove too difficult to overcome.

    "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," he said.

    "I've never seen anything like this in my entire career."

    Anon, can you tell us more about your condition? How you came to know you're a HPV carrier and how you felt when you were diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells in your cervix, how you deal with it. I'm interested. Email me.

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  21. thanks to this doctor. im really inspired by people having a heart for helping.

    nice post eastcoastlife.

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  22. i want more updates about the story of this guy..i remember the story of a man here in Iloilo city, Philippines who has similar situation with Dede. His whole bode turned out like that of a see shell. Actually people would say that he was a "shokoy", local term for a mystical man-sea creature.

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  23. the poor man. i bet his life was made such a misery. great story and pictures.

    mine is up. hope u can stop by :)
    http://www.mummydiariesblog.com/2008/09/too-tired-to-sleep.html

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  24. These derived from the mutation of cells, which come about in Dede's case, the onset from the cut on his knee, and infected with the virus.

    Mutation of cells can be caused by various means. The food that we consumed, like food with fungus or burnt. Toxicity that we are exposed to. High stress caused homonal changes, and possible mutation of body cells.
    We called these changes carcinoma or papilloma or commonly called cancer.

    What may be a concern in future or the near future will be so many people go for Lasik, the vision correcting procedure. The doctors are actually lasering and disturbing the corneal cells. No one can tell, what will be the outcome in many years or a few year time. Will we be seeing Papilloma or carcinoma of cornea, which will definately sight threatening.

    Can some kind Gernome specialist readers of eastcoastlife advice or comment?

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  25. Hey ECL, want to know how I feel about your blog?

    http://jangbokjae.blogspot.com/2008/09/i-love-your-blog.html

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  26. You find the most amazing issues...! Didn't know about him, glad she can live a somewhat normal life now...

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  27. Fantastic photo - I actually saw this program on TV, it was facinating. Particularly at the end when he walked away from further treatment because of his life and cultural difficulties.

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  28. Wah so sad for him.. but thank GOD for modern medicine :)

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  29. This is sad. It is so fortunate that he was able to have medical help to cure him.

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  30. poor this guy..i grew up in the forest..now its time for me to get scared..booohoooohooo...i will kill myself for sure if i get into a situation like this..god protects

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  31. i've never seen such a pitiful and unbelievable human condition.

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  32. Gosh! I hope he'll be normal in the near future.

    To think that we take such normal thing for granted!

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  33. ECL, i've watched him on tv before. Poor him. His condition is so weird and some ppls may think this is scary. Blessedly, wt the modern technology we have now, he can at least have a closer to normal life.

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  34. WOW what an amazing man to deal with this for most of his life. I'm so glad there were doctors that helped him have a more normal life!

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  35. Poor man. I suppose there has been some improvement but a long way to go. I hope there will be some future treatment too.

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  36. Wow! Amazing, thank you for sharing this with us. God bless you.

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  37. Hi ECL, I saw these pics at another blog and quickly pressed X, cause it freaked me out!

    How is ur contest coming along la? For sure many contestants he he! ;)

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  38. Wow, that is interesting- I didn't know that was possible.

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  39. OH GOOD! i saw this story on TV a few months back, but they didnt show him getting the surgery. I am so glad to read about this follow up on Dede, cause my hubby and I really were hoping he would have it. YEAH! This makes me smile! :D

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  40. is this really for real. oh my gaud, i have never seen anything like this. wow.

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  41. I saw these photos before. I think it was featured in a documentary film. Gosh, the images are to gross to look at and I don't even have the stomach to read the text.

    I think I need a cheatsheet to win this contest!

    :p

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  42. I saw something about him on the T.V. here in the U.S. I think that he will have more operations. He has lead such a difficult life. I hope that now that he is on T.V., that he will become rich, and his wife that deserted him will be sorry. ;o)

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  43. I watched the documentary before. Really pity him to be able to live through this illness for so long. Glad that he's recovering n much of the warts have been removed :)

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  44. Thats amazing...I have never heard of this thing before. Glad they where able to help him!

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  45. I haven't seen him before. Glad to know about the treatment.

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  46. I've read this on the papers lately too. You are right about how marvellous it is the modern medicine can do these days. I was one whose life's owed to this modern medical technology!

    BTW, I'll be in SG for a working trip nxt Wed-Fri; so how do I collect my TV? :p

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  47. Anyone know if he has had the I.V. treatment and is it working ?

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