When a little boy was born to Nar Kumari, she was ecstatic. Ramesh looked like any other normal baby. And then after 15 days, his skin began peeling off and being replaced by thick, black scales.
Dailymail tells the story of Ramesh, an 11 year old who is afflicted by a rare skin condition called Ichthyosis in which skin grows seven time faster than normal, resulting in flaky, black scale formation which is as hard as armour. The skin splits in places causing deep cracks and the victim's face appears stretched out with lips and eyelids jutting out.
Ramesh's ordeal is a relentless one. He goes through pain everyday, his condition has robbed him of the ability to walk and talk and he has never known friends.
His father Nanda says,
"Any young child would see him and run away crying. It was hard for him and us to watch."
Ramesh's parents had no inkling of what this skin condition might be.
Nanda told MailOnline:
‘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.'
The local doctors in Baglung, a remote Nepalese region where the family lives, told his parents that it might be a 'fungal infection' and said they couldn't help him.
Ramesh's desperate parents could do nothing but helplessly watch their child suffer and grow worse.
"By this fifth birthday he began to say his body was in pain and he couldn’t walk.He’s never really been able to explain anything to us either.
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."
By age six, Ramesh was unable to walk and hence, could not go to school. Even after his parents found out about his skin condition, Ichthyosis, they were unable to help him as treatment for this was expensive and could only be done in private hospitals and Ramesh's father is a daily wage labourer who earns just 7,000 Nepalese Rupee a month.
Nanda goes on,
"We took him to a few doctors in our district but we were told that treatment was costly and only available in private hospitals.
We did not have enough money and had no choice than to keep Ramesh home and do our best."
Ramesh's mother tried to devote time to Ramesh but felt helpless and used to cry alone often.
By a stroke of luck, a journalist walked past Ramesh and saw him and asked his parents about his condition. She made a video and put it up online to create awareness about his tragic situation.
A Nepalese singer who was helping British singer Joss Stone organise a concert, chanced upon this video on social media and told her about it. Joss offered to pay for the little boy's medical treatment.
Ramesh is now being treated at Kathmandy Medical Hospital. Doctors are hopeful that they can make life easier for Ramesh if not completely cure him.
Dr Sabina Bhattrai, assistant dermatology professor, explains,
"People with his condition suffer from dry, thick, scaly or flaky skin. In many cases, people have cracked skin which resemble the scales on a fish.
He was in a really bad state when he was admitted. We had to remove the scales from his body and it was painful.
Over a period of two weeks we gave him antibiotics to avoid infections and applied drugs and moisturizer on his body to remove the dead skin."
The doctors feel that due to delay in treatment his condition has deteriorated. They think that Ramesh lost his ability to walk as he had been left that way for too long, but maintain that with proper physiotherapy he might be able to walk again. And already, there are signs of improvement.
His relieved mother says,
"I feel really sad and helpless to have failed him. Since the layers of skin have been removed he’s even able to speak better. As parents we failed him. My only wish is to see him walk again now"
And we pray that he does.
You can help Ramesh by donating at the Joss Stone Foundation's website.