Obscura Day 2017! Join our global celebration of exploration and discovery.
May 6

‘Tree Man’ Is No Longer ‘Tree Man’

After more than 16 operations, his hands are fixed.

Abul Bajandar earlier this year before several surgeries.
Abul Bajandar earlier this year before several surgeries. Monirul Alam/CC BY-SA 4.0

For years, Abul Bajandar had massive growths on his hands, which were actually warts, but looked like branches from a tree. This led to Bajandar being dubbed “Tree Man,” in addition to a lot of misery.

The extremely rare disease, known as epidermodysplasia verruciformis, is a skin disorder that can result in the growth of macules and papules, or swelling and discolorations that grow bigger over time. Bajandar, a father, couldn’t pick up his daughter, eat by himself, or work. (He was a rickshaw driver before the condition began to take hold.)

But last week, doctors in Dhaka, Bangladesh said that after “at least” 16 operations, they had fixed Bajandar’s hands, and perhaps permanently cured him. 

“I never thought I would ever be able to hold my kid with my hands,” Bajandar told Agence France-Presse. “Now I feel so much better. I can hold my daughter in my lap and play with her. I can’t wait to go back home.”

Bajandar, 27, is expected to be released from the hospital in the next 30 days, and, he says, will start a business with the donations he’s received since his sickness made international headlines last year. 

In the meantime, his wife and daughter remain with him at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, where he’s optimistic he can return to normal life. 

“I hope the curse won’t return again,” he told AFP.