A MAN whose testicles swelled to twenty times their normal size can swim and run again after life-changing surgery.
Forence Owiti Opiyo, from Kenya, was finally given a diagnosis of scrotal elephantiasis after surgeons removed the excess tissue.
He first noticed a cyst on his genitals in 2006, when he was just ten years old.
He had the growth removed in 2007 but the infection came back several years later and his testicles began to swell.
Over time Forence’s penis and testicles have swollen to almost a metre long and weighed an incredible 11 pounds.
For years doctors were unable to diagnose Forence’s condition, which eventually left him unable to walk because of his testicles giant size.
But now doctors at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Hospital in Kenya have diagnosed him with scrotal elephantiasis.
Elephantiasis is caused when a blockage occurs in the lymphatic system – the network of tissues and organs in the body that help rid itself of toxins.
The most common cause of the condition is filariasis, a parasitic disease caused by an infection with roundworms.
These parasites are spread by worms or mosquitoes.
Elephantiasis usually causes the skin to thicken, which allows the area affected to become swollen.
Scans showed Forence’s testicles were healthy despite the excessive swelling of his scrotum.
After being examined, surgeons at the hospital scheduled two operations; the first to debulk Forence's penis and get rid of the excess mass and the second to reconstruct the penis and fashion it into a more usual shape and size.
Dr James Obondi, consulting surgeon, said: "We spared the nerves, we spared the circulation and we brought the shaft to its rightful size.
"I believe Forence is going to enjoy his life like any other normal human being.
In three months he will be just normal in his functions and be able to do everything he wants to do
"In three months he will be just normal in his functions and be able to do everything he wants to do."
Doctors believe that Forence will be able to go on and have a normal sex life and even be able to have children, something he longs to do.
He said: "I would really love to have children one day, that is what I desire.
“I was just happy to have the operation, I wasn’t afraid though.
“When I got up I was surprised that my body was so light. All the heaviness had gone.
“I’m swimming now. I couldn’t go anywhere near the water because of the heaviness of that thing.
“Now I can run and I can play football. Now I’m free.
“I’m trying as much as possible to build myself up so that I can have a wife.
“But the next step I want to take is to get an education.
“Who knows what will happen in the future?”
Forence faced years of torment from his peers as his testicles grew bigger and bigger.
He eventually dropped out of school because they grew so large he could no longer wear clothes or walk.
Classmates teased him and, unable to afford any more surgery, Forence began spending more time at the home he shared with his brother Eliza and grandmother, Salina.
"The pain became increasingly unbearable, so that I couldn’t even walk or sit," Forence recalled.
"I walked as if I had bowed legs.
"This thing started very small, like a boil.
This thing started very small, like a boil. Then it was the size of my fist. It just continued to grow bigger and bigger
"Then it was the size of my fist.
"It just continued to grow bigger and bigger.
"It was operated on and they removed it.
"They did some tests and found out it was had not been fully removed but I could not come back due to the post-election violence and I stayed home.
"I finished my medicine but it continued to grow.
"I was supposed to come for a second operation but we could raise the money we needed."
Forence began to mend shoes in an attempt to save money after he dropped out of school, but his goal of being able to pay for surgery was still way out of his reach.
Grandmother Eliza said: "I am the one taking care of things now. It is not easy, it is very hard.
"Sometimes I do farming or cut sugarcane and sometimes I grow tomatoes.
"Forence's problem is with the penis and scrotum.
"When the disease came people thought it was a spirit but it is not a spirit.
"Forence's life is not good because he doesn't have friends who come to visit him."
In a bid to help, a neighbour took some shocking photos of Forence's deformed member and posted them on Facebook with a plea for help.
Duncan Otieno said: "I took his photos and posted it on my Facebook and shared it all over the internet.
"After three days, we got a call from Our Lady of Mercy Ranguma and an ambulance picked him up from the village.
"Forence is a polite man. He is a man of few words, he doesn’t talk much or disturb anyone.
"I believed he could be healed."
Jane Tombe, a surgical nurse that assisted during the operation and healing process was struck by Forence’s optimism and positivity throughout his whole ordeal.
She said: "I haven’t seen anything like that before.
"But Forence is outgoing. A very jovial boy who is very positive in life.
“His daily life must have been so challenging before his operation but there was so much hope in him.
“He is going to progress well.
“You know when you see a patient progress very well in my profession; I get very happy and am happy for Forence.
"I think God loves him so much and he will do well in life.”
Forence's journey will be shown on TLC UK's Body Bizarre on Thursday October 26 at 10pm.
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