DAN Maurer couldn’t have sex with his wife for 9 years, nor could he pee in a toilet, because of his swollen five stone testicles.
The 40-year-old left doctors baffled as his balls to grew uncontrollably, leaving him a prisoner in his own body.
Dan’s condition stopped him doing everything from showering on his own, camping with his friends to being intimate with his wife.
He had to pee in the shower because the size of his scrotum means he couldn’t aim into the toilet bowl.
But he was put out of his misery thanks to a life-changing op to remove his giant “ball and chain” – after he diagnosed himself with scrotal lymphedema.
“It’s made me a prisoner of my own body, it’s like carrying a ball and chain,” Dan said before his op in 2015 in a TLC show, re-posted on the channel’s YouTube page today.
“The best way I could describe the weight to someone would be to imagine splitting open your scrotum and put in three large bowling balls then sew it back up and carry it around.
“I’m constantly in pain and it’s a lot of weight on your back, so it’s very hard for me to move.”
What started out as a small amount of “puffiness” below the belt changed Dan’s life forever.
As his scrotum grew, it slowly stopped him living his life, one step at a time.
Dan changed from a man who was always on the move, regularly playing sports and camping with his friends, to a man who is unable to take care of himself. And before his op, the last time Dan was able to have sex with his wife was in March 2006.
“When it was smaller I could lift it onto the toilet and pee into the toilet, but when it got bigger there was always a chance I would make a mess so it was easier to pee into the shower stall and rinse it down with the water,” he said at the time.
A LONG-TERM CONDITION THAT CAUSES SWELLING
Lymphoedema is a long-term condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues
It can affect any part of the body, but usually develops in the arms or legs
It develops when the lymphatic system doesn’t work properly
The lymphatic system is a network of channels and glands throughout the body that helps fight infection and remove excess fluid
It’s important that lymphoedema is identified and treated as soon as possible as if it’s left untreated – it can get worse
“It’s probably been two years since I could use a normal toilet.”
Mindy and Dan have been together for 20 years and have been dealing with Dan’s condition since a year after their wedding in 2005.
“We went out for a romantic hotel getaway and down in his scrotal area seemed more puffy than normal,” Mindy said.
“It was small enough so we just wrote it off as him being heavy and he said he would just lose some weight and it would go away.”
Over the course of a year his scrotum grew to the size of a coconut.
Terrified, Dan went to see his doctor to put a stop to the growth. But doctors were left baffled, unsure what was causing his condition and blaming it on his weight.
“I just tried to wear longer shorts to help cover the fact that it was getting bigger and bigger and went out less and less,” Dan said.
“We went to our doctor and he was baffled, he’d never seen anything like it.
“He basically said ‘you’re fat and there’s really nothing we can do until you lose at least 100 to 150lbs’.
“After exercising and it was growing larger I realised at that point it really didn’t matter how much weight I lost; it was growing faster than I could lose the weight.”
In seven years Dan’s scrotum grew uncontrollably and took over his life.
His penis and testicles remained a normal size but were engulfed by his gigantic scrotum.
It was only after watching a TV show on scrotal lymphoedema that Dan suspected he had the same condition.
It causes a blockage of the lymphatic vessels, which leads to a build up outside the testicles, resulting in the swelling.
Convinced he had found the cause of his nightmare ordeal, Dan sought help from specialists.
He contacted California-based urologist Dr Joel Gelman, who agreed to perform the life-changing op to remove the giant mass between Dan’s legs.
Assisted by a team of eight surgeons and 12 theatre staff, Dr Gelman successfully freed Dan of his huge scrotum during a 14-hour operation in 2015.
Dr Gelman told DailyMail.com: “Massive scrotal lymphedema is a rare condition.
“It is usually best treated with a major surgery to remove the mass of tissue while preserving the penis and testicles.”
Speaking after the operation, Mindy told the Battle Creek Enquirer: “(The doctor) is very pleased with the surgery and healing.”
And Dan’s dad added: “Hopefully, it’s the start of a whole new life for him.”
Not only did the giant mass destroy Dan’s confidence, but it left the otherwise happily married couple unable to have sex.
“The last time we had marital relations was on March 19, 2006,” Mindy said in 2015.
“Dan has become a prisoner of his own body and I’ve become a prisoner with him.
“He’s not able to do any of the things he loves doing.
“If he wasted to go out and get a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread on the way home, Dan can’t do that.
“If he wanted to take a shower all by himself, he can’t.
“If I had to list them all it would be an hour long show of things that have been taken away from him one by one.”
In a desperate attempt to slow the growth down Mindy and Dan wrapped his testicles in compression bandages every day.
“We use the bandages to try and stop it growing further, but we also use the bandages to try and break it up a little bit so it might get smaller,” Mindy said at the time.
Left housebound and in constant pain, Dan was unable to exercise to try and lose the weight doctors blamed for his condition.
The only exercise he could do was swimming in the local pool – the only thing him and Mindy could do together.
While Mindy said helping Dan was “just what you do for someone you love”, Dan was worried the strain on their relationship could drive Mindy away.
“I think it’s an underlying strain this has put on our relationship,” Dan said at the time.
“It’s one of this things where you don’t want to think about it, but it’s definitely there.”
Four months ago, and three years after his surgery, Dan updated followers on his GoFundMe page, telling them: “I am pretty good. I still need to lose more weight but it is something I have struggled with my whole life.
“Again thank you for giving me a second chance at life, and I can look forward to sharing it with you all. Forever grateful.”