- A year ago Abul Bajandar, a Bangladeshi rickshaw-puller dubbed ‘tree-man’ for the bark-like growths that once covered his body, appeared to have made a full recovery from the rare condition that has afflicted him for a decade.
- He had undergone extensive surgeries last year to remove wood-like warts from his hands and feet.
- But twelve months after doctors declared him all but cured following 24 surgeries, Bajandar’s hands are once again covered in the growths that characterise his rare condition.
- Surgeon Samanta Lal Sen, who last year hailed his cure as a milestone in medical history, now admits Bajandar’s case may be more complicated than first thought.
- All of the 24 surgeries since 2016, to remove the growths from his hands and feet, were performed at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Doctors were on the verge of declaring their treatment a success before a sudden relapse prompted Bajandar to flee from the clinic in May without notifying staff.
But on Sunday, January 20 he was readmitted to the hospital after his condition deteriorated, with the growths now covering almost the entirety of his hands and feet, the 28-year-old said.
“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,” Bajandar said.
Dr 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 the Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The reason he withdrew from treatment was because he did not want to watch his young daughter watch him grow up in a hospital ward.
“Nobody deserves to be in a hospital forever,” said a nurse working in the plastic surgery unit of the Dhaka Medical College. “Unfortunately, he (Bajandar) may have to stay here for a while,” she added.
Meanwhile Bajandar worries about money, and how he will pay for his daughter’s education.
“She’s growing up so fast,” he said.
Bajandar further added, “I always wanted her to become a doctor. But if my condition worsens, how can I even send her to pre-school, let alone a medical college?”
Earlier Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had promised free treatment for Bajandar after his plight captured the sympathies of the nation.
He lived in the hospital’s expensive private cabin with his wife and daughter for nearly two years during his first round of treatment treatment.
The father of one suffers from epidermodysplasia verruciformis, an extremely rare genetic condition also known as ‘tree-man syndrome.’
Dr Sen said that fewer than half a dozen people worldwide have this rare disease.
His hospital also treated a young Bangladeshi girl suffering from the condition in 2017.
Doctors declared her surgery a success, but her father later said the growths had returned in even greater numbers, prompting the family to halt treatment and return to their village.
Source: Medical Xpress
You can refer to the previous story of Abul Bajandar in the link given below: