Surgeons have agreed to operate on a man – cruelly nicknamed Hippo Man – to remove a giant tumour from his nose.
Fei Jianjun, 41, spends most of his time inside his home in Maxiang village, Jilin province, China, as his appearance frightens his neighbours.
Superstitious villagers believe they will fall ill if they look at him, reports the City Evening Post newspaper.
While parents discipline their children by threatening to take them to meet him if they misbehave.
“I try my best not to go out, as my family is too poor to compensate others if I scare them and make them sick,” said Fei.
His condition began as a small bump on the end of his nose nearly a year ago – but it now covers so much of his face that his eyes have been pushed onto the side of his head.
His father took him to a hospital in Jilin city where doctors diagnosed him as suffering from a cancerous tumour.
Surgeons have now agreed to operate for nothing as the family are so poor they have had to take on odd jobs to buy painkillers for Fei.
Doctor Zhang Jianjun, of Jilin Military General Hospital, said Fei suffers from very severe form of nose cancer, and will die within six months without immediate treatment.
“We will give him radiation therapy first to shrink the tumor underneath, and then we’ll perform plastic surgery on him,” he said.