Rare fungal disease turns 11-year-old’s skin into thick scales

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An 11-year-old boy suffering from a rare condition which is slowly turning him to stone has been helped by a surprising Good Samaritan.

A rare, lifelong condition has left one 11-year-old boy in Nepal covered in dark, scale-like skin and unable to  walk, go to school or make friends.

Young Ramesh Kumari has a rare and debilitating condition which means hard, flaky scales cover his body and make daily life almost impossible.

Ramesh, from Baglung, Nepal, started displaying symptoms of Ichthyosis at just a few weeks old.

Now, he has been left unable to walk or speak due to the extremely rare condition which has frozen his body and limbs into twisted shapes.

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The young boy’s dad Nanda explained how other children run away from him as his appearance scares them.

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His mother, Nanda, told  “His skin started peeling off 15 days after he was born and then new skin began to grow very thick. It hardened and turned black, we had no idea what to do about it. No one helped us. He is only able to inform us when he’s hungry or wants to use the toilet. He used to sit and cry but we didn’t know what was hurting him or how to help him. 

Ichthyosis is a long-term condition that results in hard ‘fish scales’ forming on the skin and is caused by a faulty gene passed down from parents.

There is no cure for the disease but it can be managed by daily skincare and other medications.

Ramesh’s family were unable to afford medical care on Nanda’s 7,000 rupees (Sh 10, 500) a month salary.

But he has found fresh hope thanks to help from Brit singer Joss Stone, who has raised much-needed funds for his medical treatment.

Joss was due to perform a gig in Nepal and was in touch with native singer Sanjay Shrestha who told her about the little boy.

She saw a video of Ramesh struggling to walk and wanted to help with a concert in the capital Kathmandu.

The gig raised Ksh 200,000 for his treatment and Joss spent the day with him, showering him with gifts and chocolates.

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He’s now receiving treatment at Kathmandu Medical Centre, where things are looking up for the youngster.

Dr Sabina Bhattrai, assistant dermatology professor, told the Mail: “He was in a really bad state when he was admitted. We had to remove the scales from his body and it was painful.