'Tree man' with bark for hands CURED after 16th surgery

Man whose fingers were growing like tree branches cured after 16 surgeries

Abul Bajandar from Bangladesh - or Tree Man, as he is often referred to by the media - first rose to global fame when odd growths resembling tree branches began to sprout from his hands and feet.

"I never thought I would ever be able to hold my kid with my hands", Bajandar told AFP news agency.

After living with the condition for about 10 years, Bajandar, of Bangladesh, began undergoing surgery- the first last February- and now, his hands and feet are "almost fine" Samanta Lal Sen, plastic surgery coordinator at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, told AFP.

"I want to live like a normal person. I just want to be able to hold my daughter properly and hug her", he said in an interview previous year.

Barcroft Media reported 27-year-old Abul Bajandar's hands and feet were consumed by 11 pounds of bark-like warts due to epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV), an extremely rare condition involving widespread infection by human papillomavirus (HPV).

Bajandar, a former rickshaw driver from a poor village in the district of Khulna, is just one of the four people in the world to have ever been diagnosed with the disease. "He will be discharged within the next 30 days after a couple of minor surgeries to flawless the shape of his hands".

His story came to the attention of doctors at Dhaka Medical College Hospital previous year thanks to media coverage, who offered to treat him free of charge. "I can't wait to go back home".

He met his wife Halima Khatun before he contracted the disease, but it had taken hold by the time they married, against her parents' wishes.

Bajandar initially thought the warts were harmless, but they eventually covered his hands and feet, forcing him to stop working.

Bajandar, his wife Halima Khatun and their three-year-old daughter Tahira have lived at the hospital for almost a year while he has been undergoing treatment.

Hoping that his warts don't grow back again, he said he plans to set up a small business using the donations that poured in from all over the world upon his impending release.

"I was so anxious about raising my daughter", he said.

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