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

Clearwater, Florida, toddler James McCallum earned the nickname “little Ninja Turtle” from his parents due to a rare skin condition resembling a turtle shell on his back. Despite inconclusive ultrasounds, concerns arose when scabbing and lumps appeared on James’ back post-birth. The mysterious condition covered 75% of his back, growing rapidly, impacting his sleep and daily life.

Facing uncertainty, James underwent an MRI to assess internal growth risks, leading to surgery at 2½ months to remove the nevus. Fortunately, no internal growth was found. Post-surgery, parents Kaitlyn and Tim discovered a supportive Facebook group, learning about potential side effects like itchiness Connecting with a specialist, they initiated tissue expansion in September 2022, injecting saline weekly to replace affected skin.