James McCallum, 19-month-old, was born with a large mass covering most of his back, which left both his parents and doctors in Clearwater, Florida, USA baffled.
The Florida boy has lovingly been nicknamed ‘ninja turtle’ by his parents after he was born with a ‘shell’ growth on his back.
He was left with a ‘turtle shell’ growth on his back after he was born with a rare skin condition.
James McCallum’s mother Kaitlyn, 35, said no ultrasounds revealed anything out of the ordinary before her son was born in Clearwater, Florida .
She said she was left ‘concerned’ when she noticed the scabbing and lumps on his back when the boy, who they lovingly nicknamed ‘ninja turtle’, was born.
Kaitlyn and her husband, Tim, 41, a medical staffing recruiter, waited months for a diagnosis as the mass grew into what looked like a large mole that covered most of James’ back.
It took two months until doctors had a diagnosis – congenital melanocytic nevus, which is benign, tumour-like malformations resulting from faulty development of pigment cell.
Kaitlyn, an inventory worker for a boat company, told SWNS: ‘Before it was removed it had grown rapidly and had become like a turtle shell on his back.
‘It got to the point that we had to sleep him on his side as he couldn’t put his head down flat because it was so bulky.
‘She said it covered 75 per cent of his back and began to get fattier, as though it was growing.
‘He’s so much happier and more comfortable and we’ll just be happy to get all of it gone by the summer,’ Kaitlyn said.
His parents were told it could be removed through surgery, James underwent two rounds of surgery in February 2022 and May 2022 to remove the bulk of the nevus – which finally allowed him to lie on his back.
James then had surgery to replace the nevus with healthy skin, and now he will only need one more surgery to remove it in its entirety.