The rare but incredible case of Wesley Warren Jr. puts our daily burdens into perspective as the Nevada resident says he needs around a million dollars to pay for an operation to remove his 100 pound scrotum.
He has a hugely enlarged scrotum, the sack that protects the testicles and its size and weight causes him discomfort, pain and makes it incredibly difficult to get out and about.
"It's not easy to get around... It makes me stay
in most of the time."
Warren told the Las Vegas Review-Journal of his 100-pound scrotum.
Warren says the problems started in 2008 when he rolled over in bed and caught his scrotum with his leg, causing him a terrible pain. As the pain subsided his scrotum swelled to the size of a football and has been getting larger since.
Doctors say that Warren's condition is extremely rare and although more common in tropical Africa and Asia, in these cases the problem is usually put down to a mosquito spread parasitic infection where thread like worms block the lymphatic drainage and fluids collect, that cause huge swelling known as lymphedema.
However physicians that have examined Warren's case say there is no sign of this kind of infection and living close to downtown Las Vegas he's hardly at risk of these kinds of tropical diseases.
Initially, he sought basic medical treatment, being given antibiotics for what doctors thought was a local infection. Slowly the swelling became so large he could no longer work, so he signed on for disability benefits. In 2010 he tried medical treatment again at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Doctors classified and reclassified his condition as scrotal elephantiasis, scrotal lymphedema or scrotal edema, a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in tissues of the body.
Doctors at UMC thought they might be unable to save Warren's penis and testicles, which was a shock to him :
"Basically, he was telling me there was a good chance that I would be castrated and have to go to the bathroom through a tube for the rest of my life ... I really would like to have a relationship with a woman. I should be in the prime of my life right now."
Doctors at UCLA were more hopeful, but then money issues kicked in; even if Nevada Medicaid would cover an out of state procedure, they wouldn't pay enough for what looks to be a seven figure operation.
Warren said after he came back from LA :
"I really don't think people know what I have ... It's not something people have seen before, I'm sure of that. I doubt if they can even imagine it."
Written by Rupert Shepherd