Tale of courage and kindness
Turtle Boy: A Bodyshock Special C4, 10pm
IN A tiny hamlet in Colombia, six-year-old Didier has struggled with a rare condition called a Congenital Melanocytic Nevus, a giant mole that grew so much it covered 40 per cent of his body.
It resembled a shell, and he was nicknamed Turtle Boy.
There was a chance the mole could turn malignant. And Didier's mother Luz struggled with an additional burden – guilt. In this superstitious society, there was a belief that Didier's growth was a result of being conceived during an eclipse, which meant Luz and her family had to live apart from the rest of the village.
But Luz longed to be free to have her son baptised, to take him to school, and to see him grow up.
Sadly, though, there was no way she could raise the money for an operation. That is until a news crew broadcast a story on Didier, the response to which saw cash pour in from anonymous benefactors.
However, the procedure, carried out by a British plastic surgeon, would be complicated and dangerous. And even if successful, the recovery process would involve a complicated series of skin grafts.
This documentary traces Didier's story, one of cutting-edge medicine, a mother's love, and a brave six-year-old's fight to be released from his burden. It's a moving tale of how an extreme medical condition can be tackled by both modern medicine and the kindness of strangers.