A Strange Set of Skin


-A simple dose can save this child from turning into an elephant or a tree trunk


Steven Peter has spent seven years of his young life transforming from a soft skinned child to a presently rough and bumpy skinned six year-old who cannot play because of a terrible skin condition that won’t respond to any of the medication that he has so far been given.

“We were told that he needs foreign treatment, but the finance wasn’t available for us to take him for advanced treatment. As we speak his condition is worse than before,” stated his uncle, Jay Valli.

Doctors at JFK have diagnosed Steven as having fungi, a complicated infection that requires both viral and oral drug solutions that can only be administered in places like the United States of America and Europe. Fungi are complicated infections to treat and once they spread, take weeks, even months of treatment to reverse the damage.

“His condition is worse than before.”

His uncle said Steven contracted fungi the day he was delivered at the Benson Clinic hospital.

“We took him back to Benson hospital where the skin problem started and they gave us some drugs that are not working. Since then we have been to St. Joseph Catholic hospital, Chinese clinic and JFK and were given some tropical ointment that also did not work,” he added.

Steven’s condition has been so appalling that on one occasion, a paper picked up his story and Madam Ellen Johnson intervened, resulting in Steven spending almost two months on bed at the JFK hospital receiving occasional medication here and there, said his uncle.

Steven’s condition is similar to Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis (EV), also known as “tree man illness,” an abnormal susceptibility of the skin resulting in uncontrolled HPV infections that cause growth of scaly macules and papules of the hands and feet, exactly the two areas affecting young Steven.

Treatment usually requires Acitiretin or Cimetidine because of its depressing mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation and regulatory T-cell activity feature.

Steven’s condition causes people to stare at the child whenever he’s being whisked into a hospital because he is in pain. His uncle said he is now living on pain medication and is unable to wear any shoes or do anything much for himself due to the skin growth on his hands and feet, including the swelling.

The family is appealing for help with the treatment needed to keep their son from transforming into a tree trunk, especially to medical practitioners to either come in with his treatment or sent for treatment abroad.

The family can be contacted on these numbers 0770969355/ 0886969355


  1. This child’s unfortunate condition will not gather any comment(s) or offer to help from folks online here because it has nothing to do with politics. I really feel his pains and anguish and I think it is about time that folks at the Ministry of Health and their partners get involved and treat this as an infectious disease. I am not sure how contagious it is but care needs to be taken now before this turn into another health crisis due to skin disorder. I am holding this family in my prayers as this is not something an innocent child like this should be going through in his formative years. May God have mercy and heal him of his afflictions.


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