Friday, 16 December 2016

Meet The Potato Woman Who Is Completely Covered From Head To Toe with Tumours

Hosineara Begum

A woman covered head to toe in tumours has described her 'tormented life' after she has been shunned by her neighbours - and dubbed the 'Potato Woman'.

Hosineara Begum has now been ousted by her community for six decades after a botched operation when she was younger.

Hosineara was born with a pimple on her upper lip and tiny bumps scattered around her face and neck.

But after a roadside doctor cut it off, Hosineara claims the pimples spread all over her body - some even growing up to the size of a tennis ball.

With her condition worsening and her identity lost behind those tumours, the widow, who lives with her only son and his family, has become a pariah in her village as no one wishes to see her.

They have even given her the moniker of Potato Woman.

Hosineara said: "The tumours hurt. These hurt badly. I scratch all day and sometimes even blood comes out. I cannot take this pain anymore.

"No one talks to me or meets me. People even turn around if they see me from a distance. Children are sacred of me. Even my grandson who is only three sometimes cries when he sees me. I live like an outcast. I think the only way I can be freed from this pain is by death."

Hosineara cannot talk, eat or wear clothes properly. She wraps herself with soft cotton saree- a traditional six yard piece of cloth, so the tumours do not hurt.

Walking is a also tedious task for the frail grandmother because of the weight of the endless mass that has popped up on every possible part of her body-face, head, arms, fingers, abdomen, back, thighs to toes.

But Hosineara was not always like this. She was a happy girl who was only 16 when her father married her off to a labourer in a village in Narayanganj district of Bangladesh. The two were madly in love and had a son a year later.

Recalling her early marriage days, Hosineara says she was a decent-looking woman with little bumps on her face and neck despite that her husband loved her unconditionally.

However, soon after her condition started worsening, her husband Arzu Mian drifted into depression for failing to fund her treatment and eventually died.

"My face was still better. I had these bumps but they were neither in large numbers nor too severe. My husband loved me and accepted me with my unusual skin. We were happily married until he died in December of 1986.

"He had lost mental stability. He was perpetually sad for not being able to arrange money for my treatment. He was my only backbone, my only friend. Ever since he has gone, I have lived like an unwanted person," said the old woman.

Hosineara's tumours began to swell two years after her son's birth. At first she ignored the growth but soon the tumours grew at uncontrollable pace that it covered her petite frame.

She ran from one local healthcare to another in and around her village but no one could diagnose her condition.

With no treatment for several years and no home remedies helping her heal, Hosineara eventually resorted to Homeopathy and while she says, the medicines helped a little, she could not continue the treatment because of lack of money.

"Mother had seen medical representatives at several healthcare but no one could tell why she had these big tumours and if any treatment is possible. They would only advice her to take her to advanced hospitals in big cities.

"But we had no money. She tried various remedies at home. She would sit with body dipped in water for hours as it relieved the burning sensation.

"Later when I started earning, I took her to homeopathy doctors but it was also irregular because I had no money. The frugal money I make is not even enough to feed my son and wife. My mother understood my pain and stopped taking medicines ten years ago," said Saiful Islam, 34, who pulls a cycle rickshaw to makes end meet.

The woman is so frustrated with her agony that now she prays and cries all day for her end.

"I have no hopes left. I have lived a tormented life. Now I want to be free from this pain and Only God can help me. Death is better than this excruciating pain," said Hosineara.



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