Archive for Huang Chuncai

Huang Chuncai Update: Surgery Successful

Posted in Rotten with tags on June 27, 2008 by davehurwitz

I have added this revision as an update to this post. The comment by “K Alton” is correct. The first photo is of a man called Geng Libo. The second is Ou Gulfeng. Neither are Huang Chuncai. But, though the comment left by “racliu”, I’ve been able to uncover more information, and photos, about Huang Chuncai. Visit the updated post.

Apparently most sites on the Internet are content with reporting and showing Huang Chuncai’s horrific photos, but stop short of showing his progress. Ever since I discovered this story in Fortean Magazine, I hunted the Internet for my original post, April 20. (Read the original post for Huang Chuncai’s full story.) By that time, Mr. Chuncai had already undergone the second surgery (January 7, 2008 ) to remove the tumors that have grown around his face. Even at that time, I could find no reports of photos of his recovery. You would think people would be interested to see this man’s life improve. Apparently not.

After much scouring, I found two photos showing his recovery. Both were on site were I couldn’t even hazard a guess to the language. Maybe Scandinavian. Maybe Polish. Since I used Google’s image search, I couldn’t translate the page to see how Mr. Chuncai had recovered.

Here you see Huang Chuncai on the operating table before his second, January 7, operation. The operation took place in Guangzhou, and removed almost 10 lbs from his face.

These two photos show how Huang Chuncai has recovered. The first I can only guess if this is Huang Chuncai. I think it is. The second was pulled from a site that had older pictures of the man, so I’m confident this is him.

Chris Kalidor

Huang Chuncai: The Elephant Man of China

Posted in Rotten with tags , , on April 20, 2008 by davehurwitz

Huang ChuncaiThe oddities that afflict the human body never cease to amaze me. Take Huang Chuncai from China. A 33-pound tumor grew on his face, nearly obliterating his features. His left eye was completely covered and his left ear drooped down to his shoulder. The right side of his face was entirely engulfed. If you look closely, you can pick out how his face should look under all that skin.

Mr. Chuncai’s tumor first appeared when he was four years old. It grew steadily, his head puffing up like a balloon. One neighbor joked that his head was so big, he was destined to become a politician. He has almost lost his hearing and his speech is labored and hard to understand. At 25 the tumor knocked out his teeth. The weight of the mass has warped the spine of the diminutive, 4 ft 5 inch tall, man. He has not left his village of Yulan, in China’s southern province of Hunan, for the past 27 years.

Huang Chuncai in HospitalFree operations to remove the tumor were performed by the Fuda hospital in Guangzhou, southern China’s Guangdong province. The first surgery, in July 2007, removed a sizable section of the tumor. An ultrasound of Huang’s tumor showed it was swarming with blood vessels. Doctors performing needed to take care and stauch any bleeding. If not, Mr. Chuncai could bleed to death in two minutes. This past January, he underwent another operation to remove another section of the tumor.

Channel 4 BBC covered this story in the BodyShock series, drawing a tremendous viewing audience. The segment was titled “I am the Elephant Man.” The condition suffered by Chuncai, neurofibromatosis, is similar to Proteus syndrome,which afflicted Joseph Merrick the original Elephant Man. There is no cure for the Proteus syndrome, though they can be controlled through surgery. The condition is a congenital disorder that causes skin overgrowth and atypical bone development.

I’ve scoured the web for any information following Chuncai’s latest surgery, but I’ve found nothing. You can check up on the story at Channel 4’s BodyShock site.

Chris Kalidor

UPDATE: How is Huang Chuncai doing now?