By Taniya Dutta
A villager has been living a reclusive life for three decades because of a mystery condition that has riddled him with five gigantic tumours weighing a total of 40 lbs.
Palanisami Kailsam, 46, has five massive tumours-one in his neck that has grown so big that it sags down his chest and four others-the size of basketballs- in his arms and wrist.
The tumours are so heavy that simple tasks like eating, talking and walking are not possible for Palanisamy.
He also has more than ten tiny growths on his legs and stomach.
The man lives on a hilltop in Podarankadu village of Tamil Nadu in southern India, with his mother, three brothers and their wives-away from other villagers so to not scare the children.
Sivasami Kailsam, 52, who looks after his younger brother said the tumours started forming when Palanisami was only 12.
His distraught parents had taken him to seek doctor’s help but were told the tumours are harmless.
Sivasmi said: “It started with a small glands then the size got bigger.
“It first appeared on his neck then showed in the hands and later small growths had formed all over his body.
“Initially my parents ignored his condition because they thought he had hurt himself but within few years the tumours had grown the size of a cricket ball.
“It was then that my alarmed parents took him to doctors in the nearby city. Several tests were conducted but doctors could not tell the reason for the growth.
“They said he cannot be cured and an operation can be fatal. After that we did not go to hospital.
“For the last 30 years he is been suffering with this rare disease.
While the tumours don’t hurt, the heavy weight prevents Palani as he is fondly called by his family, from walking or doing any work.
He spends most of his days talking with his ailing mother or visiting his relatives.
While Sivasami says Palani shows interest in doing daily chores or help in their small business of saree weaving, the tumours restricts him from doing anything.
“He walks slowly and eats slowly lifting his hands and chewing the food very slowly. He needs my help to wear clothes.
“He doesn’t like to sit idle. Even if he cannot walk or do regular chores on normal pace he tries to help us,” his brother said.
For years, Palanisami’s brother lived with the hope that one day the tumours will stop growing. But even after 30 years, the abnormal growths are increasingly advancing.
After suggestions from people, they had recently taken him to a government-run hospital in the state but were disappointed when they were again sent back home without any hope of treatment.
Sivasami said: “Because of the advancement of medicine and science we were hopeful that after all these years of pain and mystery, finally doctors will be able to find a treatment for his condition.
“We had taken him to the government run hospital in the last week of April but after conducting blood tests and x-rays and monitoring him for six days, the doctors told us there is no cure and we should not even think about removing them as that can kill him.
“We were heartbroken.”
Palanisamy has also accepted his fate.
He said: “I have no hopes left. I do not think my condition can be treated. Only my brother Sivasami was hopeful and always said with time medicine will come that will cure me.
“I have accepted my condition. These tumours don’t pain but they are very heavy and I cannot do anything because of them.
“I have been living with them all my life and I am aware that no treatment can cure my condition.”