Didier has been compared to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. It's not because he loves the cartoon action characters though. Living in a remote Colombian village, it is unlikely he's ever even seen a picture of them. Didier literally appears to have the back like that of a turtle -- he even has the nickname "turtle boy."
According to physicians, nearly three-quarters of his body was covered by a rare type of mole called congenital melanocytic nevus. The mass covered the whole of his back and extended around toward his stomach.
Didier's mole was removed in April and found to not be malignant. Now, National Geographic has released footage of Didier seeing himself mole-free for the first time. Watch the preview for the show that aired Sunday night:
Didier is the perfect example of the viral nature of today's worldwide media. Even though he lives in a remote village, if it weren't for the way news spreads today, he may never have gotten the chance to attend school or do other things young children do. Watch National Geographic's brief clip on the effect of the media on Didier's case:
Channel 4 in the U.K. also featured the April surgery on its program "Bodyshock," and states in addition to removal of the mole, the surgery involved a series of complicated skin grafts. The Daily Mail reported that before his story became publicized, the family was ostracized by villagers believing supernatural powers were the cause of Didier's plight. The Daily Mail noted Didier saying at the time, "I want to grow up, but the mole won't let me." Neil Bulstrode was the plastic surgeon who operated on the boy.
The National Institute of Health published a report that states congenital malanocytic nevi affects 1 percent of newborns. Most do not reach the size of Didier's mole.
The Huffington Post reports Didier being speechless when he first glimpsed himself without the giant mole.