Indonesia may stop ‘Tree Man’ being treated in US: report

Jakarta, Indonesia (AFP) – An Indonesian villager dubbed “Tree Man” for massive bark-like warts growing on much of his body may be barred from travelling to the United States to receive treatment, a report said Tuesday. Woody growths entirely cover 32-year-old Dede’s hands in long, root-like tendrils that leave him unable to work — except as a member of a travelling “freak show”.

He was in a Discovery Channel documentary this month.

“We’re clear about not giving them (US doctors) permission to bring Dede to the US,” health ministry spokeswoman Lily Sriwahyuni Sulistiyowati was quoted as saying by Warta Kota daily.

“Moreover, people like Dede, who live in small villages, don’t want to be taken away, especially to give blood samples. Normally village people don’t easily give foreigners permission to test their blood,” she said.

The spokeswoman declined to give an immediate comment when contacted by AFP.

Anthony Gaspari, a dermatologist from the University of Maryland, examined Dede as part of the documentary.

He believes the massive growths are a combination of the human papilloma virus, which causes warts, and a genetic disorder that means his immune system is too weak to f