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Los Angeles Times

Indonesia's "tree man" comes home after treatment

An Indonesian man dubbed the "tree man" because of gnarled growths on his body has returned from hospital after six kilograms (13 pounds) of warts were surgically removed from his body, a doctor said on Tuesday.

Dede, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, first noticed the warts on his body after cutting his knee as a teenager. Over time, he was sacked from his job, deserted by his wife and shunned by neighbours as the horn-like extensions covered most of his body.

One of Dede's doctors, Rachmad Dinata, said the hospital had allowed the 37-year-old man to enjoy the Islamic fasting month with his family now that 95 percent of the warts had been removed after nine operations. The fasting month begins on September 1.

"He cannot be 100 percent cured, but his life quality has improved. If once he depended on others to do his activities, now he can eat by himself, use his hand to write, use the cell phone," Dinata said.

The doctor said the warts on Dede's body, which an American doctor said were a result of severe Human Papilloma Virus infection, might re-grow. But the disease is not life-threatening anymore.

Dede was operated on at the Hasan Sadikin provincial hospital in Bandung in West Java where he was admitted nine months ago with a lung infection as a result of the warts.

Dede must still go through more surgery to trim more warts from his palms and the back of his hands after the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday in October.

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