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

James McCallum, 19 months old, earned the nickname due to a rare skin condition that baffled doctors. According to James’ mother, Kaitlyn McCallum, 35, ultrasounds conducted before his birth on Aug. 19, 2021, did not reveal anything about the baby’s condition. However, concerns arose for Kaitlyn and her husband Tim, 41, when they noticed scabbing and lumps developing on James’ back.

“It looked somewhat like a birthmark but with scabbing in parts — it was a bit worrying because it seemed like something was amiss,” Kaitlyn told South West News Service. As the mark grew, resembling a large mole, his parents took him for tests, enduring months of waiting for results.

“At that point, the doctors were unsure of what it was,” Kaitlyn recalled. “It initially covered 75% of his back, and it started to become more fatty and lumpy,” she continued. “It appeared to be growing.”

The lump on James’ back grew rapidly, becoming so cumbersome that he had to sleep on his side. “It had become like a turtle shell on his back,” she explained. “He couldn’t lay his head flat because it was so bulky.”

In February 2022, James underwent his first surgery to remove the nevus, preceded by an MRI on his brain and spine to assess if it was growing internally.

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