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Bangladesh's 'tree man' back in hospital
Bangladesh's 'tree man' back in hospital

Dhaka, Jan 22 (IANS) Abul Bajandar, better known as Bangladesh's "tree man" for the large bark-like warts on his body because of a rare genetic disorder, was back in hospital here on Tuesday months after skipping his treatment last year.

Bajandar, 28, was treated at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital from January 2016 till May 2018, during which 19 complex surgeries were performed to remove the tree branch-like lesions growing on his body.

According to his doctors, the man is suffering from epidermodysplasia verruciformis, a disease that is not contagious but is incurable. Surgeries only provide temporary relief.

In May last year, during Ramzan, Bajandar returned to his village in south-western Bangladesh to be with his family. He did not return to the hospital for the treatment until last Sunday, Efe news reported.

His dream of living a normal life with his wife and a daughter and resuming his work as a driver turned into a nightmare when he noticed that warts were growing again.

"I lost all hope. Doctors here did their best but I saw no hope, that's why I returned home," Bajandar told Efe.

"But my condition deteriorated since I left. The warts returned on both my hands and leg. I could neither work, nor move normally. I contacted the doctors again and they asked me to come back," he said.

Hospital authorities had been unable to provide Bajandar with a bed in the crowded Burn and Plastics Surgery Unit and he had to spend the past three days on the floor of the hospital with his mother Amina Bibi.

"I have been promised a bed as soon it becomes available. Until then, I need to stay here," he said.

The lack of a bed did not stop the hospital from starting the treatment.

"We have set up a medical board for him and (are) now carrying out necessary tests. Next week, there might be an operation," said Samanta Lal Sen, a surgeon at the hospital.

Bajandar said he did not want to stay back too long either and had asked the hospital to see if they could arrange his treatment abroad. "Here they have tried their best and carried many operations. But it did not help."

Officials at the hospital dismissed hopes that Bajandar might be able to find treatment for his highly unusual condition abroad. "We have no idea where a treatment for this kind of disease is possible. No one in our medical board has recommended that. A few (people with) this kind of disease all have died," said Sen.

Bajandar is not the only person in Bangladesh suffering from this disorder.

Two years ago, two men and a minor were reported to be suffering from the "tree man" syndrome and were admitted to a clinic in northern Bangladesh. In 2017, a 10-year-old girl was also diagnosed with the disorder.

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