Dammam, Saudi Arabia — Afflicted with a unique skin disease, four men turned into a half man and a half tree.
Ion Toader, a Romanian; Dede Koswara, an Indonesian; and two others are suffering from a rare skin disorder called epidermodysplasia verruciformis.
Toader was found by dermatologist Carmen Madeleine Curea to have the disease in March 2007. Koswara, on the other hand, was declared with a similar disease in November 2007. Two years after, another Indonesian, from the same region as Koswara, and a Dutch, of Indonesian origins, were reported to have the same disease.
Their stories were posted in www.youtube.com. That of Koswara first appeared in the Discovery Channel and TLC Series, “My Shocking Story,” in the episode, “Half Man, Half Tree” and in the ABC’s Medical History episode, “Tree Man.”
In late August of 2008, Koswara underwent surgical operations, with three-fold purposes: (1) to remove the thick carpet of warts and massive horns on his hand; (2) to remove the smaller warts on his head, torso, and feet; (3) to cover the hands with grafted skin. At least six kilograms of warts was removed from Kowara’s body. As his warts have kept on returning every after the surgery, he needs a lifetime twice-a-year surgery.
A similar treatment, which was given to another Indonesian, has thus far worked better. The Dutch, on the other hand, was treated with radiation therapy, which turned out successful, but ended with a cancer.
According to Wikipedia, epidermodysplasia verruciformis is first documented by doctors Felix Lewandowsky and Wilhelm Lutz so that it is otherwise known as Lewandowsky-Luts or Lutz-Lewandowsky epidermodysplasia verruciformis
A rare skin disease, which is genetically inherited, it is associated with a malignant tumor in the skin with unidentified causations and results from viruses called human papillomaviruses (HPVs). If left untreated (which is expected to be the case, as it is known to have no cure as of this writing), it will result in a change of a surface color of the skin or solid elevation of the skin, especially on the hands and feet, to varied sizes ranging from 5 mm to 10mm in diameter at its widest. (Sources: www.youtube.com and Wikipedia)