"Tree man' regains use of hands"
Getty recently caught up with Dede Koswara, better known as "tree man," in his home village of Bandung, Java, Indonesia, where he is continuing treatment for his rare condition. Koswara spent much of his life covered in tree-like warts until he underwent surgery in 2008 to have over 4-pounds of them removed from his body.
A 2008 story in the Telegraph explained Koswara came to be covered in warts:
Dede's ordeal began when he was 15 and cut his knee in an accident. A small wart developed on his lower leg and spread uncontrollably.
Eventually he had to give up work as a builder and fisherman, and scratch a living in a traveling freak show. His wife of ten years left him as it became impossible for him to support her and their two children.
Due to a rare genetic problem, Koswara's immune system has made him unable to fight the Human Papilloma Virus infection causing his body to produce the warts.Source
The "Tree Man of Java" is now able to send text messages and eat from his hands after operations to remove the bark-like tissue sprouting from his limbs.