Sunday, 01. February 2015
20. 06. 14. - 16:00
The unfortunate child they call Lizard Boy is to fly from his homeland to Israel for specialist treatment after strangers touched by his plight donated money for his treatment.
Some 24,000 GBP in all was raised for Zhasulan Korganbek, five, who suffers from the most terrible form of ichthyosis - a complaint which turns his skin into scales.
Zhasulan, from Kazahkstan, is due to fly in ten days to Israel for the treatment which it is hoped will allow him to lead a normal life.
"I want my son to be healthy, so he will live a fully normal life, like all the other kids. I sincerely thank the people for their support," said his mother Ulbibi Ykylasova, 26.
Musicians of the Regional Philharmonic from the boy’s hometown, the southern city of Kyzylorda, held a charity concert and there were street donations, raffles and bazaars to raise the cash to send him to the specialist clinic in Israel.
A few days ago Zhasulan was discharged from a hospital in Almaty – the capital of Kazakhstan - where he already underwent a month of treatment. Some tough scales and encrusted skin were removed but much more remains to be done.
Although local media called him Lizard Boy, ichthyosis stems from the Ancient Greek ichthys, meaning "fish" because of the similarity of the dead and flaking skin to fish scales. There is no way to prevent it occurring but the Israeli clinic that he is heading to pioneers treatment using lasers, creams and salt water baths.
Zhasulan suffers from X-linked recessive ichthyosis causing tan and grey scales on his limbs and across his torso. It affects his ears and face and the scales appear to be stuck on like stamps. It varies in its severity and improves in fine or sunny weather.
This condition was passed on to Zhasulan from mum Ulbibi, who is a carrier of the abnormal gene. There is a 50 percent risk of it being passed on to children although a carrier mother shows no evidence of the condition.
Zhasulan said: "I don't want to be a lizard anymore. I want to be normal."
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