32 year old Dede Kosawa, also known as 'Tree Man', is one of the world's most extraordinary people. He lives in a remote village in Indonesia with his two children, trying to care for them. Dede, a former fisherman, has an incredible skin condition: he has root like structures growing out of his body - branches that can grow up to 5cm a year and which protrude from his hands and feet, and welts covering his whole body.
He is known locally as ‘Tree Man’ and his condition has baffled local doctors for 20 years. In an attempt to earn a living to support his family, he is part of a circus troupe, displaying his 'Tree Man' limbs along with others afflicted with skin deformities in ‘freak’ shows.
Dr Anthony Gaspari, a world expert in skin conditions from the University of Maryland travels to Indonesia to attempt to diagnose 'Tree Man' Dede’s mysterious condition. He takes skin samples for biopsies back in the USA. What will he discover?
We go on an intimate journey with the extraordinary 'Tree Man' Dede, as he tries to eek out a living in a circus troupe to support his family, and as he is given medical help by Dr Gaspari. The identification and possible cure of his condition, could change his whole life.
Half way across the world, in Romania, farmer Ion Toader is discovered to have a similar extraordinary ‘Tree Man’ condition, with growths all over his hands. He has not been able to drive a tractor for five years. A Romanian surgeon offers to give him an operation to remove his growths.
Will it be successful, and how will it change Ion’s life?