Elephantiasis of the leg. Lymphatic filariasis.
Wesley Warren Jr isn't the first person to suffer from swollen body parts. (Photo Credit: CC BY/otisarchives1/Flickr)

Wesley Warren Jr. of Las Vegas, Nev., has a large problem; the 47-year-old former security guard and courier has a 100-pound scrotum. According to doctors, he is suffering from lymphatic filariasis that caused his scrotum to swell up with fluid to the size of watermelons.

Wesley Warren’s woe

Carrying a 100-plus-pound scrotum as well as his 300-plus-pound frame makes even the simplest of movements an ordeal for Warren. Sitting down for bowel movements is impossible. Depression visits him daily.

“It’s not easy to get around,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It makes me stay in most of the time.”

Warren’s condition invokes memories of late 19th century Englishman Joseph Merrick, aka “The Elephant Man.” Warren has suffered from scrotal elephantiasis for three years, and he has gone public not to profit from his deformity, but to seek help.

“I want to have real friends and a relationship with a woman,” he said. “But I’m not suicidal. I’m too strong for that.”

State assistance won’t cover surgery

Merrick used the money he earned while with a traveling freak show to survive, and he receives state assistance that covers food and shelter, but the aid is nowhere near enough to pay for surgery. As such, Warren is reaching out through various media outlets – including “The Howard Stern Show” – for the $1 million he needs to cure his 100-pound scrotal predicament.

“I don’t like being a freak; who would?” Warren said. “But I figured that the Stern show is listened to by millions of people and they might want to help me. I hope some millionaire or billionaire will want to help me.”

Warren reportedly has not yet reached his financial goal. He is accepting donations through benefitballsack@yahoo.com.

Be careful how you sleep

While doctors have been unable to pinpoint why his scrotal edema occurred, Warren believes it happened one night in late 2008. Tossing and turning during sleep, the positioning of his leg twisted his testicles in a painful manner, causing him to wake up.

“I never felt such pain,” he said. “It was like a shooting pain through my entire body. When it stopped, it was like a huge tractor trailer went off the top of me. I think it ruined my lymph nodes down there.”

The next morning the pain was gone, but Warren’s scrotum had swollen to “the size of a soccer ball,” he said.

Castration may be necessary

Lymphatic filariasis caused by physical trauma is exceedingly rare, said Las Vegas urologist Dr. Mulugeta Kassahun. Urologists, surgeons, internists and infection disease specialists attempted to get to the bottom of what caused Warren’s condition, with little success. Antibiotics and antivirals couldn’t reduce the swelling. The scrotum could even continue to grow, according to medical experts familiar with the case.

Surgery involving skin grafts and radical reconstruction of the penis and testicles is conceivable, but doctors offer no guarantees. Castration would become necessary if the other surgery is ineffective. To top it all off, Nevada Medicaid won’t come close to covering the cost.

“I would be a cash patient,” said Warren.

Wesley Warren’s horrid dilemma



CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20122203-10391704.html

Elephantiasis Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephantiasis

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/18/wesley-warren-jr-scrotum_n_1018260.html?

Las Vegas Review-Journal: http://bit.ly/nPaOco

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