The Story of the Baby Who Challenged Doctors With His Rare Disorder for 20 Years

10 months ago

Imagine being born with skin that could fit a 5-year-old, even though you’re just a baby. Doctors were super surprised by how Tomm Tennent looked when he was born. Tomm’s dad couldn’t believe it either. Their journey since then has been full of tough moments and strong feelings. Now, if we fast-forward to our days, seeing how Tomm looks now might just make you cry in amazement.

Meet Tomm Tennent and his special case.

Back in 1993, down in South East Australia, something really unusual happened. A baby named Tomm Tennent was born with a special condition that surprised everyone. Before he was born, ultrasounds already hinted at something very unusual, making his parents question about keeping him or not.

Fortunately, Tomm’s father decided well. “We sort of discussed this between us, and we decided what’s meant to be is meant to be, and we went through with it,” said his dad, Geoff Tennent.

No amount of tests or check-ups could have possibly gotten someone ready for just how serious Tomm’s condition was. When his parents saw him for the very first time in the delivery room, they were completely taken aback. Tomm’s mom, Debbie Tennent, couldn’t trust her own eyes when they put him on her chest.

“My heart came up to my throat, but at the same time, it was lovely to pick him up and cuddle him,” she said. Doctors were confused by Tomm.

Since the cause was unclear, there was no available treatment or solution. Their only hope was that as he aged, he would naturally grow into his skin, and the wrinkles would lessen.

Researchers finally made a fascinating discovery about his condition.

He stayed in a hospital for about two and a half months, which was quite a challenging time for the researchers.

They discovered that Tomm has a Hyaluronic acid surplus in his body, like the Shar Pei puppies. But his levels of this substance were way higher than what’s normal. Interestingly, as Shar Peis grow, their levels of this substance go down, and their skin changes. Doctors believed that the same might happen to Tomm.

Dr. Andrew Ramsden, a doctor, said that Tomm’s condition would probably get better as he grew older. He was right! Tomm’s condition did improve with time, just as the doctor thought it would.

Tomm faced challenges in his early years, experiencing teasing and being left out of school because of his distinct appearance. Although he still had some minor physical distinctions, they were less
prominent compared to when he was born.

Meet him today.

It has been 30 years since Tomm’s birth, astounding doctors. We don’t know much about him from social media and Tomm’s current life is a bit of a mystery.

On his Facebook, it looks like he’s happily married to Hannah in a place called Frankston, down in Victoria, Australia. “Life’s simple. You make choices, and you don’t look back,” Tomm posted on his Facebook profile.

A new baby coming into the world is a joyful event, but it also comes with an innate sense of protection toward the new arrival. The main characters in our next story, Cristina and Blaize, were overjoyed to see their newborn daughter, but they soon learned she had a rare condition that initially baffled doctors.


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I'm so happy for him that he was able to outgrow his condition. No matter how wrong it is, life and people are often unfair or unkind to people who are different from them. I'm happy to hear that he has found his life partner and they're doing well. I wish them the best in life.


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