Infected mosquito bites from more than two decades ago left a Cambodian man’s leg five times its normal size due to an untreatable parasitic disease.
27-year-old Bong Thet from Cambodia who once dreamed of becoming a footballer is now forced to drag the painful leg along the ground in Kampong Chhnang province due to his condition.
According to Bong, the tumour developed from small wounds on his foot when he was just six-years-old, and at that time, he said his parents ignored because they thought he injured himself while playing outside.
He said small lumps grew around his foot and completely covered his leg by the time he reached 12-years-old.
Due to his inability to afford the medical treatment in the poverty-stricken country, his condition worsened over the years.
Bong, who had to stop going to school because it was difficult for him to walk long distances later met good Samaritans who offered to pay for his treatment earlier this month.
Businesswoman Dana Try gave 10,000,000 Cambodia Riel (around £1,900) for Bong’s medical expenses and he was able to visit a hospital for the first time.
After conducting a blood check-up, the doctors found that he has Lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic disease caused by thread-like worms.
The doctors said he contracted the parasites through mosquito bites which he scratched, resulting to the wounds.
According to medical officials, the parasitic disease is one of the leading causes of disability in the world, but there is no known vaccine or cure for the disease yet
When Bong learned that the disease is incurable, he was disheartened but he was still thankful to people who contributed for his checkup.
‘This will make my life easier and knowing that there are people who care for me makes me feel happy,’ he said. ‘I am so grateful for them to helping. The money will pay for medicine and food.
‘I will continue to take the medication given to me by the doctors which will make my life more comfortable.’