Ramesh Darji was born with a rare condition that gradually turns him into a stone statue, leaving his skin covered by thick black scales.
For 11 years the boy has been suffering from pain, he can’t move and even express his thoughts. The teen, who lives with his family in Baglung, the remote Nepalese region, doesn’t attend school and has no friends as his appearance scares other children.
For a long time his mother Nar Kumari and father Nanda believed there was no hope for a cure, but help came from an unexpected source. Desperate parents visited local doctors who diagnosed him with a fungal infection but couldn’t help him.
Nanda said: “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. 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. Any young child would see him and run away crying. It was hard for him and us to watch.”
After years of trying to determine the cause it turned out that little Ramesh has been suffering from serious genetic skin disorder called Ichthyosis. However, neither Nanda nor his wife could afford expensive treatment only available in private hospitals.
Ramesh’s luck changed only when a video about him was widely shared on social media and he eventually got help from Nepalese and British singers who organised a charity concert to raise funds for his treatment.