A taxi driver no longer has an Incredible Hulk neck after surgeons removed the enormous tumour that had gone untreated for two decades.
Adolfo Abo, 59, from the Philippines, used up all of his life-savings on having his huge growth looked at by doctors when it first appeared in 1993.
But, unable to afford a follow-up, the tumour quickly spread to his chest – making him look like he had a muscle-bound neck like the one sported by the Marvel comic character.
The growth became so bad that the minivan driver could no longer turn his head to look into his mirrors or bend down to pick up passengers’ luggage.
Adolfo Abo, 59, from the Philippines, used up all of his life-savings on having his huge growth looked at by doctors when it first appeared in 1993
However, after Ara Grace, a kind-hearted family friend, photographed him and made an appeal online, the father-of-three has had the tumour removed.
Now Mr Abo, from Occidental Mindoro – 120 miles (193km) away from the capital Manila, can finally work again and is ‘eternally grateful’.
He told local reporters: ‘It was getting harder and harder for me to move, especially carrying the passenger’s baggage.
‘It was hard for me to turn my head, to see see the car’s side-mirror so I had to move my entire body. This was very difficult.
However, after one kind-hearted passenger photographed him and made an appeal online, the father-of-three has had the tumour removed (pictured with Ara Grace, who made the appeal)
The growth became so bad that the minivan driver could no longer turn his head to look into his mirrors or bend down to pick up passengers’ luggage
Now Mr Abo, from Occidental Mindoro – 120 miles (193km) away from the capital Manila, can finally work again and is ‘eternally grateful’
WHAT IS A BENIGN TUMOUR?
A tumor is an abnormal growth of cells that serves no purpose.
A benign tumor is not a malignant tumor, which is cancer.
It does not invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body the way cancer can.
In most cases, the outlook with benign tumors is very good.
But benign tumors can be serious if they press on vital structures such as blood vessels or nerves.
Therefore, sometimes they require treatment and other times they do not.
‘I didn’t have a choice so I just endured. My biggest worry was that I wouldn’t be around to support my family.’
The operation was estimated to have cost around £10,000 ($13,400), which Mr Abo claims he would never have been able to afford.
Luckily, his appeal was broadcast on state TV and well-wishers footed the bill for his life-changing operation in September.
Surgeons at the Urology Clinic Luna Goco Medical Center in Capalan City removed the growth after an operation lasting several hours.
Mr Abo’s upper body physique is now virtually the same as it was 20 years ago – with even the excess skin removed from around the benign tumour.
He told local reporters: ‘I’ll be eternally grateful to everybody who helped me. Now I can work again. I can support my family.
‘I can even turn my head to check the mirrors. I could would have dreamed of this happening. I am so thankful.’
Mr Abo’s wife Juliano also suffered from chronic asthma, which he paid for medicine for with his 400 pesos (£6/$8) a day wage.
His youngest son Novilyn, is blind and deaf, so Mrs Abo had to stay home caring for the boy and was unable to work.