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Bark-Free, 'Tree Man' Hopes to Resume Normal Life

The Indonesian villager dubbed the "Tree Man" because of the bark-like growths that sprouted from his limbs and on his face, has returned home in hopes of resuming a normal life, Agence-France Presse reported Monday.

Dede, a 37-year-old from rural West Java, has returned home after undergoing nine months of operations to remove more than 13 pounds of growths from his hands and feet.

The growths, which are believed to have been caused by the human papillomavirus and began to appear on his skin after he cut his leg when he was 15, left him unable to work, except for in a traveling "freak show." As a result, Dede was unable to care for his children and his wife left him.

He told AFP by phone that he hopes to reunite with his teenage children, who are currently living with relatives.

"Now I can live with my children," Dede said. "I can move and go anywhere. I haven't got any plans to get married yet, but I would like to."

Click here to see a new photo of Dede and for more on this story from AFP.

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