Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gov't on the Tree Man Case:

Protect: OK; Solution: Null

Last week a friend forwarded an e-mail to me. In it was attached a picture of a man in his late thirties in one of the sorriest state I had ever seen in my life. His hands and feet seem to have grown into something like tree roots. No fingers were seen from those pairs of hands and feet. There were just "roots" as his hands and feet.

Really, it was a most terrible sight. But little did I know that the guy in that picture was actually an Indonesian. I thought the case happened in a neighboring country. Thailand, perhaps, since lately many weird things were heard from the country, such as the existence of a cow with a human-like face. So it came as quite a shock when I learned from the newspaper on Sunday that the poor man in fact lived in Jawa Barat.

It was started with a few warts on his hands and feet. They were so itchy that he decided to poke them so they would burst and self-heal. But instead of dying down, the warts spread even wider and worse. Soon his hands and feet lose their humanly form. Today those warts have even started showing up on his body and face.

If Dede, the Tree Man, lived a century ago, he might have been cast away by his neighbors AND family. Today, Dede may be rejected by his community but he has a supporting extended family behind him. That his wife left him because she could not stand living with such a weird person is something we all could well expect to hear about. What’s amazing is the fact that his closest relative - his father - has stayed beside his ailing son and taken care of him since the beginning, despite his (the father's) poor legs.

Another amazing thing is that despite the existence of people who mock him, there’s also another group of society who sees him not less than someone in real need of medical help. This, in my opinion, is something which we should be overjoyed with because it shows humanity of many has advanced. Indeed it is a major relief to find out that a big part of the society has grown more mature and less judgmental in seeing things unfamiliar to them.

Unfortunately, the Indonesian government doesn’t follow the good lead. Instead of figuring out the best treatment for Dede, the minister of health chose to fuss over violation of right by the US doctor who first investigated the disease, for not reporting to the Indonesian government of his activities of taking a sample of Dede’s skin and bringing that sample back to his homeland. She also accused the international media which had made a world-wide program out of the case (that is the Discovery Channel, for your information) for commercializing the case and not paying an appropriate amount to the ailing guy.

I don’t understand what good we can expect from such actions. Shouldn’t we thank the US doctor and the media for without them, Dede would not know up to this day that the strange thing happening to his body is a curable disease after all (which is caused by a virus called human papilloma virus) and not some wrath from God or jinx? And I think that the media has helped in the sense of making a publicity of the case to the world, and in the end “provoking” the world to help Dede. That alone is worth a lot more than money, as now all eyes all over the world have really turned to him. If no money or medical help is sent to him, at least he gets more prayer and I say it is as worthy as money and medical help. And she said she was acting for the best interest of the patient. Really.

Well, let’s just see whether the government will eventually offer help to Dede for curing his illness. For now, why don’t we extend our prayer for the health recovery of Dede.


aprian said...

*menatap hina kamus bahasa inggris yang mentertawakanku*

metty said...

haduh, tulisan gue susah dingertiin ya? thanks ya buat masukannya. namanya jg belajar nulis dlm bhs enggres :P

btw pa kabarnya apri? thanks for visiting ya.

YESSE said...

Yah, the same old story in Indonesia. Always in a rush when others esp. foreigners took interest of the case. Hope that those people will keep their promise to Dede.

metty said...

Let's hope so, Yesse. Let's hope so.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE PLEASE HELP THIS MAN! We live in such a privileged society...and overprivileged in many parts of the world! This man has a TRUE NEED. It MUST be treated.

When will we hear of news of his condition and improvements?

There are many forms of surgery and pharmacueutical treatment available to Dede. Please help him.
I pray his government and the USA government will take special priority of this matter, and allow Dede a chance at a normal, healthy life with his children.
What an amazing and brave soul he is!