Ridding a Palestinian man of an awful disease …. and done by Jewish doctors.
Mohammed Taluli, 42, from Gaza, was plagued by the rare condition for a decade – but had been unable to find treatment.
Scared of what strangers would think about his lesion-covered hand, the recluse hid away in his own home and stopped venturing out into public.
He was fearful of any possible situation that could cause him to show his affected hand to other people, local reports say.
But now, following the operation, Mr Taluli is convinced his life will return to normal. He said: ‘I have been suffering with this for nearly 10 years.
‘After years of being ashamed and staying at home, unable to work and unwilling to show my hand to people, I have finally been given some hope of my life returning to the way it used to be.’
What was the operation?
Surgeons at Hadassah University Medical Center removed the lesions off of all the man’s hands during an operation, Jewish Press reports.
It left him with no skin on the affected hand, as medics had to graft skin from other parts of his body to cover the wounds.
This method was chosen in an attempt to minimise the possibility of the lesions, caused by his epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV), returning.
Doctors were scared of catching it and wore double gloves and special masks to protect themselves – despite medical literature stating it to not be contagious.
Speaking days after the procedure, a spokesperson for the Jerusalem-based hospital said they were pleased with the progress Mr Taluli has made.
At present, his wounds from the operation look like serious burns. They are expected to heal in the coming weeks.
What the surgeons said
Lead surgeon Dr Michael Chernofsky said: ‘Aside from the pain, the disease is very dangerous and could easily develop into cancer.
‘[Mr Taluli] eventually couldn’t move the hand. He had become withdrawn and fearful of any possible situation that could cause him to show the hand to other people.’
Dr Chernofsky added: ‘He kept the hand covered all the time and life was very hard for him.’
EV is a rare and inherited skin disorder which creates wart-like lesions and reddish-brown pigmented plaques anywhere on the body.
In order to inherit the disease two abnormal EV genes, one from each parent, must be present, medical literature states.
No serious treatment against the condition, which is triggered by HPV, has been found, yet several treatments have been suggested.
Often patients are given antibiotics, but occasionally there is an individual with a weak immune system that cannot defend against the virus, Dr Chernofsky added.