Dr. Oz featured two extreme medical oddities: a half-man half-tree person and the octopus man. I have never watched TLC’s (The Learning Channel’s) My Shocking Show series, but I might just have to tune in next time, because these stories are truly shocking (and fascinating too!)
My Shocking Story 3: Half-Man Half-Tree Person
In Indonesia, there lives a man named Dede Bin Ateng who was completely normal until the age of 15 and then he began to grown branch-life feet and arms. They grew to be 3′ long and were continuing to grow at a rate of 2″ per year. Soon these branch formations started to grow on his face. Nobody could figure out what Dede had or how to cure him until Dr. Anthony Gaspari from the University of Maryland stepped in. Dr. Gaspari is one of the leading dermatologists for rare skin problems.
Dr. Gaspari figured out what Dede had: human papillomavirus (or HPV). The scary thing is that 1 in 4 women have this virus in their bodies, and some women get horrible warts from this, while others don’t. In Dede’s case, he scraped his knee and got the HPV infection but his immune system does not work correctly, so the infection flourished in his body. The trunk-like appendages are actually loads of HPV warts. Dede had surgery to debulk his warts and to remove the warts / growths on his face, hands and feet (so now he has some use of his hands and feet). However, if you cut warts off, often times it grows back even worse. Unfortunately, his surgery won’t cure him. Dede’s family (mother, father, brother-in-law) have to help him with just about everything. This should really help to put into perspective any of us who think we have huge problems.
My Shocking Story 4: The Octopus Man
Rudy Santos lives in a village in the Philippines and was born with a parasitic twin. Basically, coming out of his waist is an extra pair of arms and legs. When his mother was pregnant with him, the embryo split into two (how twins are formed) but the two parts did not separate properly. Usually, this results in conjoined twins, but if one of the two twins is too weak or has other problems and can become a parasitic twin. Rudy’s parasitic twin has no head, heart, organs… the twin is basically just two arms and two legs with Rudy carries on the front of his lower tummy.
Rudy could have a surgery to remove his parasitic twin, but he refuses to do it… he feels like it would be killing his brother. Dr. James Stein, from the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, says that often when a child is born with a parasitic twin (like Rudy) they operate right away, because otherwise they grow an attachment to the parasitic twin (like has happened with Rudy). There are severe health problems as a result for Rudy – scoliosis in his back, a huge strain on his heart, and he is likely to die younger. Dr. Stein says that 1 in 250,000 births have a strange anomaly.