Dede Koswara passed away in the Hasan Sadikin hospital in Badung, Indonesia, on the morning of January 30. Koswara suffered from Lewandowsky-Lutz dysplasia, which results in uncontrolled human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and the growth of scaly warts resembling tree bark.
The disease was so severe Koswara’s hands and feet were covered with more than 13lbs of warts, also called “cutaneous horns”.
The severity of his condition gave him international notoriety – including several feature-length documentaries highlighting his plight.
The warts were debilitating, preventing the proper use of his hands and feet – and were believed locally to have been the result of a curse. His wife of ten years also left him after he couldn’t support them and their two children. In 2008, Koswara had 13lb (6kg) of warts surgically removed from his body. The operation was such a success that he could play Sudoku and wear flip-flops.
But the growths continued to return, requiring two surgeries a year to keep the infections down. Koswara died of a complicated series of health problems, including hepatitis, liver, and gastric disorders, according to one of the doctors treating him. Three months before he died he was checked into the hospital. His doctor said: ‘He was resigned to his illness. He must’ve been pretty tough to face all the insults he suffered over the years,’ his doctor said.
She added that Dede remained estranged from his family up until his death – but according to those treating him, he never gave up hope of a cure. “Dede wanted to recover, despite his disease,” his nurse said. “He was coping with his illness, even though people despised him as someone cursed He was bored, resting in bed in the hospital, and often smoked to pass the time. “He wanted to go back to being a carpenter and starting a home business.
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