Half man, half tree
November 13, 2007 7:59 AM   Subscribe

An Indonesian fisherman who feared that he would be killed by tree-like growths covering his body has been given hope of recovery by an American doctor - and Vitamin A. Dede, now 35, baffled medical experts when warty "roots" began growing out of his arms and feet after he cut his knee in a teenage accident.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar (50 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I knew there would be pictures, and yet I clicked anyway. *shudder*
posted by inconsequentialist at 8:03 AM on November 13, 2007


His wife deserted him....and left the kids?? That's cold, yo.
posted by DU at 8:05 AM on November 13, 2007


There is simply no way I'm going to click. I'm sorry.
posted by The Bellman at 8:06 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sounds like what this guy has.
posted by schroedinger at 8:06 AM on November 13, 2007


Wow.
posted by Artw at 8:08 AM on November 13, 2007


The treant attacks. You fail your saving throw.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:10 AM on November 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Those warty roots take a long time to load, and I think that's God's way of telling me I shouldn't look at them. So I won't.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:10 AM on November 13, 2007


I feel sorry for him. I'm glad modern medicine has hopefully found a way to help him out. One question, it didn't mention this but are they hard and brittle enough to cut them off or are they soft and tissue like?
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:17 AM on November 13, 2007


His bark is worse than his bite.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:18 AM on November 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


That is seriously fucked up.

Amazingly enough, in one of the photos he looks like he is happy and laughing. Ah, the power of the human spirit!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:19 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


His wife deserted him....and left the kids?? That's cold, yo.

It's not the cold, but the changing seasons. Some branches of the family tree fall off, some stay.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:22 AM on November 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wow. That is just amazing. If you'd just photographed that man's hands and feet, there is no way I would have assumed that those were the limbs of a human being. His wife sucks big time though. I can't believe she would leave a man with such debilitating deformities to raise two children.

I'm glad that the doctor thinks that this man can be helped.
posted by LiliaNic at 8:23 AM on November 13, 2007


This guy should have read more Alan Moore. I learned at an early age that it does not pay to fuck with Swamp Thing. It's a shame that Dede had to learn the hard way.

Side note: How fucking happy does that guy look? I have trouble smiling with that much enthusiasm, and the biggest problem I face every day is deciding where I'm going to have lunch. I'm not quite sure how I feel about envying someone who has such a bizarre and disfiguring ailment.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:25 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eponauseating.
posted by tula at 8:34 AM on November 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


That poor man. I hope that he can go back to being able to use his limbs normally again.
posted by gomichild at 8:38 AM on November 13, 2007


Sounds like what this guy has.

Yes, it is exactly what that guy had. And it has nothing to do with bark or trees whatsoever. They are not growing "roots" at all. On the Indonesian guy, the growths are grayish in color, so it's just someone's imaginative term.

One question, it didn't mention this but are they hard and brittle enough to cut them off or are they soft and tissue like?

IIRC, it's actually keratin, and gets hard enough to cut back periodically.

I, for one, am seriously glad to hear that they've found a treatment, because these pictures squick me out more than anything else I've ever seen on the Internet (and I have seen some AWFUL stuff on the Internet)
posted by briank at 8:39 AM on November 13, 2007


Wow. Just wow.
posted by Slothrup at 8:41 AM on November 13, 2007


Note: "Half Man Half Tree", part of the "My Shocking Story" series, will be shown on the Discovery Channel at 9pm on Nov 15.

The photos aren't gross per se, just wild looking. As someone said upthread, he's smiling with his teenage daughter, who isn't infected.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:42 AM on November 13, 2007


Barnacle from the X-men.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:47 AM on November 13, 2007


That link has all kinds of session data in it and didn't load for me. Try this if you can't get it to work.
posted by srboisvert at 8:47 AM on November 13, 2007


"I would like to bring him to the US to run tests on where his immune condition has come from, but I would need funding and to get him a visa as well as someone to cover the costs of the tests," he said.

"I've never seen anything like this in my entire career."


I wonder how hard it would be to create a paypal account and solicit donations for this guy.

There are times when I would like to be wealthy just to be able to help in situations like this. Although usually I just want an NSX.
posted by mecran01 at 8:52 AM on November 13, 2007


I don't understand this. I bite my nails, and use cuticle clippers with any callous, dead skin, etc. How the fuck do they let that happen? I am trying to imagine if that started hapenning to me, and even if it hurt like hell I would cut that shit off!
posted by Meatbomb at 9:03 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


How fucking happy does that guy look?

Umm, he just found out that there's a name (and a cure!) for the fact that he's turning into a fucking tree. Of course he's happy. How could he not be?
posted by dersins at 9:06 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


That is just freakish. But it's very cool that he seems to have a sense of humor about it. That definitely gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'getting a woody'!
posted by jamstigator at 9:07 AM on November 13, 2007


in one of the photos he looks like he is happy and laughing. Ah, the power of the human spirit!

..from Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie (1900):
We are inclined sometimes to wring our hands much more profusely over the situation of another than the mental attitude of that other, towards his own condition, would seem to warrant. People do not grieve so much sometimes over their own state as we imagine. They suffer, but they bear it manfully. They are distressed, but it is about other things as a rule than their actual state at the moment. We see, as we grieve for them, the whole detail of their blighted career, a vast confused imagery of mishaps covering years, much as we read a double decade of tragedy in a ten-hour novel. The victim, meanwhile, for the single day or morrow, is not actually anguished. He meets his unfolding fate by the minute and the hour as it comes.
posted by stbalbach at 9:09 AM on November 13, 2007 [12 favorites]


I am trying to imagine if that started hapenning to me, and even if it hurt like hell I would cut that shit off!

Which might make it grow faster...
posted by Artw at 9:10 AM on November 13, 2007


I immediately thought this was going to be a double of that other guy. I remember for him they just tried trimming the stuff off (update here). And. Umm. Ewww.

File under: images I've seen thanks to Metafilter that I will never be able erase from my fragile little brain.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:44 AM on November 13, 2007


How. Can. He. Wipe. His. Ass?
posted by ColdChef at 9:58 AM on November 13, 2007


God, if that happened to me, I'd have dyad.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:02 AM on November 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


That bad, bad HPV.
posted by jamjam at 10:12 AM on November 13, 2007


I haven't clicked on the link, but I'm really enjoying everyone's reactions. I've never been so happy we got rid of the IMG tag...
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:12 AM on November 13, 2007


[i]It's not the cold, but the changing seasons. Some branches of the family tree fall off, some stay.[/i]
I was going to say that I guess she didn't want to put down roots, but I guess that's considered low-hanging fruit.
posted by Challahtronix at 10:36 AM on November 13, 2007


ugh. Why didn't I catch this in the "Live Preview" window?
posted by Challahtronix at 10:37 AM on November 13, 2007


It's gross, yet oddly fascinating. It doesn't seem real.

stbalbach, that quote is great, but that guy isn't really able to wring his hands.
posted by bassjump at 10:45 AM on November 13, 2007


... he fights crime?
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:50 AM on November 13, 2007


Unicorn on the cob - that was a dry addition to the puns here.
posted by taliaferro at 11:09 AM on November 13, 2007


I sure hope this doctor doesn't rest on his laurels. I'll be damphned if I would.
posted by taliaferro at 11:26 AM on November 13, 2007


My imagination maybe, but I think that doctor looks a bit terrified.
posted by jamjam at 11:57 AM on November 13, 2007


I miss the img tag.

*sigh*
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 12:48 PM on November 13, 2007


He needed an E.N.T. doctor
posted by MinPin at 1:16 PM on November 13, 2007


So...how did he get that shirt on?
posted by internet!Hannah at 3:12 PM on November 13, 2007


Sounds like what this guy has.

Actually it looks really similar too. I wonder if the conditions are the same/related?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:12 PM on November 13, 2007


I'm truly happy that there might be hope for this guy - what a horrible disease!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 3:39 PM on November 13, 2007


Want to witness ashen-faced and broken children washing their hands until all that's left is polished bone?

"Washing hands is stupid Mummy. I'm not washing them. I'm
not."

"Oh that's fine dear. If you plan to look like this."
posted by 6am at 4:56 PM on November 13, 2007


Sadly, life continues to imitate art.
posted by ultrogonic at 6:37 PM on November 13, 2007


stbalbach wrote: ..from Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie (1900):
...We see, as we grieve for them, the whole detail of their blighted career, a vast confused imagery of mishaps covering years, much as we read a double decade of tragedy in a ten-hour novel. The victim, meanwhile, for the single day or morrow, is not actually anguished. He meets his unfolding fate by the minute and the hour as it comes...
From the Victorian WebJohn Merrick, the Elephant Man:
Ugly on the outside but sterling within, Merrick seemed the perfect fairy-tale Beast.

Actually, he was a naive and ill man whose final years were not filled simply with ease and friendly callers. His disease [now thought to be Proteus Syndrome] was worsening, its crippling effect becoming more painful. For hours he would sit staring into space, despondently and rhythmically tapping at his pillow or the arm of his chair with his distorted right hand. Officially, however, Merrick gave his contemporary well-wishers what they wanted -- gratitude and a sentimental feeling that theirs was a good world:

"Tis true my form is something odd,
But blaming me is blaming God;
Could I create myself anew
I would not fail in pleasing you."

"If I could reach from pole to pole
Or grasp the occan with a span,
I would be measured by the soul;
The mind's the standard of the man."

...Both verses [from Isaac Watts' poem False Greatness] capped a statement of thanks to his benefactors that was appended to an account of him published in the British Medical Journal.
May we all be so measured.
posted by cenoxo at 8:42 PM on November 13, 2007


Not to pooh pooh this thread or anything, because I certainly laugh at people's expenses... but we could do with a smaller ratio of puns.

So yah. Good for you, indonesian fisherman. You're life is a rare form of fucked up, and most people can't really even comprehend. Have you been horribly depressed? Has it ruined your life? Or has it just been really weird, surreal, and human?

I, personally, don't have any idea.

However the hell you've done it though, good for you for surviving. For managing to keep your kids alive too, you have my respect, whatever it's worth.
posted by Alex404 at 10:13 PM on November 13, 2007


Shakes hand.
posted by tellurian at 1:30 PM on November 15, 2007


"I would like to bring him to the US to run tests on where his immune condition has come from, but I would need funding and to get him a visa as well as someone to cover the costs of the tests," he said.

U.S. Customs is turning back Canadians with HIV. No way in the world are they gonna let this guy in.

I really, really hope that the doc knows what he's doing and has a cure for Mr. Dede.
posted by deborah at 12:12 AM on November 16, 2007


Video of Dede here and here.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:08 PM on November 29, 2007


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