Dede, aka “Tree Man“, is an Indonesian fisherman who has been slowly changing from a human into a tree… or at least that is what it appears.
After cutting his knee as a teenager, Dede began to grow tree like warts that have baffled local doctors and medical experts for over 20 years.
His condition has become so bad that he can no longer carry out even simple household tasks. He lost his job and his wife left him to raise their two children in poverty.
For a while he worked in a freak show as the “Tree Man” to try to make ends meet.
Although he gets some support from his extended family, he’s the subject of ridicule and abuse in his village.
An American doctor has finally determined that the cause of his problem is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) combined with a genetic condition that impedes his immune system, allowing the warts to grow unchecked.
On April 4, 2008, Dede received surgery in which medics cut off over 4 pounds of warts from his body. Although not completely healed, he can see the outline of his fingers and toes for the first time in over a decade.
Dede has two more operations to go through but is already excited to begin his new life.
“What I really want first is to get better and find a job. But then, one day, who knows? I might meet a girl and get married.”