Some people’s health issues can be extremely embarrassing. It can be particularly bad when it involves your private parts. One man from Kenya spent years in discomfort and embarrassment thanks to a cyst that grew on his private parts when he was a young boy. For years he felt uncomfortable until one day he was able to have life-changing surgery. A man has revealed he finally feels ‘free’ after having life-changing surgery to reduce his 11lb testicles and three-foot penis that left him unable to walk, wear clothes or go to school.
Horace Owiti Opiyo, 20, from Kibigori, Kenya, first noticed a cyst on his genitals when he was just 10 years old.
It is thought to have been caused by a mosquito bite releasing larvae that developed into parasitic worms that blocked Mr Opiyo’s drainage system, resulting in his genitalia tissue swelling as fluid accumulated beneath the skin.
Teased by his classmates and unable to afford surgery, Mr. Opiyo dropped out of school and became a recluse, convinced the devil had cursed him.
Yet, after a viral post on Facebook reached a local doctor, Mr. Opiyo was finally able to have surgery to remove his massive growth.
He said: ‘Now I can run and I can play football. Now I’m free! The next step I want to take is to get an education. Who knows what will happen in the future?’
Speaking about the operation, Mr Opiyo said: ‘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!’
Several months after the operation, Mr Opiyo discovered he could one day be a father.
He said: ‘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?’
Mr Opiyo first noticed a cyst on his genitals when he was just 10 years old.
He said: ‘This thing started very small, like a boil. Then it was the size of my fist.
‘It just continued to grow bigger and bigger.’
An initial procedure removed the growth in 2007, however, the problem re-emerged years later.
Mr Opiyo eventually had to drop out of school because his testicles grew so large he could barely walk or wear clothes.
His classmates teased him and, unable to afford any more surgery, Mr Opiyo began spending increasingly more time at the home he shared with his brother Eliza and elderly grandmother, Salina. His parents died when he was five.
Mr Opiyo said: ‘I told my grandmother that I have been infected by a disease, but I’m not sure what it is. It could be a curse. I knew this was not God’s work, but the devil’s.
‘The pain became increasingly unbearable, so that I couldn’t even walk or sit. I walked as if I had bowed legs.’
In a desperate attempt to help him, Mr Opiyo’s neighbour, Duncan Otieno, took photographs of his giant genitals and posted them on Facebook.
The post went viral overnight and reached the Kisumu county Governor’s wife, Olivia Ranguma, who asked a doctor to assess Mr Opiyo’s condition.
Doctors at Jaramogioginga Odinga Hospital examined Mr Opiyo and diagnosed him with scrotal elephantiasis.
Dr Emmanuel Benge said: ‘It’s a condition in the medical language called lymphedema where you have swelling of the tissues. In this case it’s his genitalia, so it’s something called elephantiasis.’
Scrotal elephantiasis can be caused by a mosquito bite injecting larvae into the bloodstream. The larvae mature into invasive parasitic worms that block up the body’s drainage system causing tissue swelling and thickening of the skin.
Scans revealed Mr Opiyo’s scrotum contained two healthy testicles. His urinary tract was withdrawn in the folds that surround it.
The hospital scheduled two operations; the first to debulk the scrotum and remove the excess mass, and the second to reconstruct the penis into a more usual shape and size.
Head surgeon, Dr Dan Raburu said: ‘We focused on locating and placing the testes in their rightful places.
‘We then focused on trying to remove the excess tissue, skin and flesh and fat around this and reconstructing the penile shaft so that it can be visible.
‘Given a lot of vascularisation, a lot of blood vessels, in this area, he could lose a lot of blood and lose his life in theatre because of shock.’
Mr Opiyo features in an episode of Body Bizarre, which airs on Thursdays at 10pm on TLC UK.
Thankfully Mr Opiyo is now doing much better and can share his story with the world without the shame he once felt.