The astonishing recovery of 'turtle boy': British surgeon helps child live normal life
A child dubbed 'turtle boy' because of a giant mole that covered his back like a shell, can now live a normal life thanks to a British surgeon.
Didier Montalvo, six, from Colombia, had the rare condition Congenital Melanocytic Nevus.
There was a chance the growth could turn malignant but Didier's mother Luz could not raise the money for the operation.
They feared he was touched by evil forces which meant he could not attend school or be baptised.
Mr Bulstrode told the Evening Standard: 'Didier’s was the worst case I had ever seen. Effectively three quarters of the circumference of his body was affected.
'Obviously he has had to go through a number of painful operations, but we feel it was worth it. It’s great to see the photos of how Didier is getting on now. I’m really happy with how things have healed.'
Mr Bulstrode is an expert in treating patients like Didier, who suffer from the rare condition. The cause is not known but experts think there is a change in the development of skin cells in the embryo triggered by a gene mutation.
Mr Bulstrode, who carries out about 40 CMN removals a year on patients at Great Ormond Street, said that working with the team in Bogotá had been an amazing experience.