My ‘Ninja Turtle baby’ boy was born with a shell — he’s my superhero

Kaitlyn told South West News Service, “It was a little concerning, as it looked like something was wrong. It kind of looked like a birthmark but scabbed over in parts.”His parents took him for tests when the mark developed and began to resemble a big mole; they had to wait months for the results.

At that point, “the doctors didn’t really know what it was,” Kaitlyn recounted.”At first, it covered seventy-five percent of his back, and it had started to get lumpier and fatter,” she added. “It appeared to be expanding.”


Baby with large dark growth on his back.
James couldn’t sleep on his back because of an unusual skin disease that he had from birth.
Baby with large dark growth on his back.

James’ lump expanded quickly, to the point where the baby had to sleep on his side due to its weight.

She said, “[It] had become like a turtle shell on his back.” “It was so bulky that he couldn’t lay his head flat.”

In order to determine whether the nevus was growing internally, James received an MRI on his brain and spine before to his first surgery in February 2022 to remove it.

Man, woman and baby boy smiling at camera.

James’ quality of life has significantly improved, according to the new parents, since the bulk was removed.With grace McCallum, Kaitlyn / SWNS

According to Kaitlyn, “internal growth on the brain or spine is one of the sub-conditions.” Thus, he needed to undergo anesthesia at the age of 2.5 months to have it done.

Thankfully, there was no internal growth, so his parents began the process of having it removed. Following his initial surgery, physicians tested the removed skin for infections, but the results were negative.

Tim and Kaitlyn joined a Facebook group to communicate with other individuals experiencing the disease because they were worried the mass might grow again. They claim this group has opened their eyes to other symptoms and side effects, like itching and lack of sweat gland production.

Progression shots of mass on baby's back/

James’ parents made the decision to begin tissue expansion in September 2022, which entails surgically expanding the “good” skin, after speaking with a physician in Chicago.

Kaitlyn remarked, “You can complete the expansion process from home.” “The doctor inserts the expanders beneath the skin, and we inject them once a week with saline, which gradually expands the healthy skin to replace the nevus.

We’ll be glad to get rid of everything by summer because he’s so much happier and more at ease, she continued.

Smiling baby dark onesie.
His skin is being expanded in order to replace the damaged area.
Baby's back with surgical scars.
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